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The heretics hold her as one distracted, while true Catholics 
deem her a saint." 

The Abbot. 











F. W. BAIX, B.A., 







stamfoi:d street and charixg cross. 


With the exception of the interesting, but 
somewhat slipshod ' Memoirs of Christina,' by 
Henry Wooclhead (2 vols., 1863), now out of 
print and hard to get, there is nothing like a 
complete or trustworthy account of Christina in 
English. In addition to some very old trans- 
lations of foreign lives (French and German 
libels), and various more or less unsatisfactory 
notices in encyclopaedias and biographical dic- 
tionaries, those worth naming are, that by 
Mrs. Jameson in her now antiquated ' Celebrated 
Female Sovereigns ; ' the section devoted to her 
in Eanke's ' History of the Popes ; ' and an essay 
by Hardinge, the Lothian Prize Essay for 1880. 
Occasional allusions in historical and other 
literature show that little or nothing is commonly 
known about her. 

And yet she was, to say the least, one of the 
most original and extraordinary women in her 
own or any age. It is indeed not an easy thing 
to write a short life of Christina, and this not 
merely because her country, her father, her 
precocious political genius, the strength of her 


character, lier learning, her court, her abdication, 
her conversion, her travels, her connection, more 
or less direct, with the most celebrated names of 
her time, tempt one to be continually turning- 
aside to dwell on subsidiary points ; but also 
because the manner in which her history has 
hitherto been written necessarily compels her 
would-be biographer to adopt a half-polemical 
tone. Never has any historical character been 
more hardly dealt with than Christina. It has 
been her lot to meet either with the most 
outrageous calumny, or more rarely with ex- 
travagant panegyric, seldom or never with her 
due meed of justice. Her conversion made all 
Protestants her violent enemies, and some 
Catholics her equally violent admirers ; her 
abdication destroyed the hopes of all kinds of 
interested persons, offended sober people, and 
insulted her own subjects, who have never 
forgiven her ; it has been persistently misrepre- 
sented accordingly. The political complications 
and jealousies between the French, the Spaniards, 
and the Pope, drew her into their quarrels, and 
each party hated and libelled her according as it 
suspected her of growing favourable to the other. 
Lastly, her own peculiar character, and her neglect 
of conventionalities, offered an appropriate subject 
for scandal. She is still viewed through the 
distortins: medium of French and Protestant 


seventeenth - century gossip and slander, and 
measured by commonplace standards ; though it 
is with genius as with crime, which, says a great 
Russian, cannot be judged correctly if we come 
to it with ready-made opinions. 

The chief authorities for her life, used for the 
present work,are first,the 'Memoires de Christine, 
Reine de Suede,' by Arckenholtz, in four volumes, 
quarto (1751-1770). The large collection of her 
letters and writings, and laborious reference to a 
multitude of authorities, make these ' Memoires ' 
of primary importance for any life of Christina ; 
but they must be very carefully used and 
searchingly criticised, for the author is a rampant 
Swede and Protestant, entirely devoid of im- 
partiality, though he supplies the means of 
correcting his bias. Eoman Catholicism is syno- 
nymous in his eyes with " depraved morality," 
and he never loses a chance of blackguarding thr 
French and proving his Swedes to be in the right. 
Later writers, as will presently be seen, trust 
quite unsuspectingly to his judgment. Next 
come the ' Memoires de Chanut,' French Resident 
at the Court of Sweden (edited by Linage de 
Yauciennes, 1674). These are of great value in 
the early part, as long as Chanut was in Sweden ; 
after he left, and Avas succeeded by Picques, they 
are almost worthless, the French being then 
spitefully jealous of Christina : she complains 


herself of the insult to Chanut's memory in 
publishing such libels under his name (see 
page 329). Whitelocke's * Journal of the Swedish 
Embassy/ in 1653-4, is of great value, and very 
amusing into the bargain; only it is to be 
carefully recollected he has the orthodox Puritan 
horror of pleasure, which most of Christina's 
biographers have forgotten. Count Galeazzo 
Gualdo's ' Istoria di Christina,' 1656 (in English 
by Burbery, 1658), gives her travels and eon- 
version at inordinate length, but the author is an 
enthusiastic Catholic. Puffendorf's ' De Kebus 
Suecicis ' gives the history of her reign. There are 
various short lives, as those of Lacombe, Catteau 
Calleville (a very excellent one). Other special 
authorities are Burmann's ' Collection of Letters 
of Learned Men ' (Si/Uoge Einstolarum) ; the 
' Memoires ' of Eichelieu, Madame de Motteville 
Mademoiselle de JMontpensier, and the works of 
other French writers of that age, named in the text. 
To modern authors, Geijer, Kanke, and Fryxell 
('Berattelse ur Svenska Historien,' vols. 9, 10), 
I am indebted for many special particulars and 
extracts from state records. Grauert's ' Chrisjtina 
und ihr Hof,' the best of all lives of Christina, 
has been of great service. Other minor sources 
are named as they occur. A large quantity of 
so-called lives, mostly in French, or translations 
from that language (of which a list may be found 


in Arckenholtz, vol. 1), have been read through 
to no purpose ; they are all nothing but baseless 
libels, from which come the imputations on 
Christina's good fame. Those who care for a 
specimen may consult the 'Histoire de la Vie de 
la Reyne Christine de Suede ' (Stockholm : chez 
Jean, Pleyn de Courage, 77 [1677]), a collection 
of ten anonymous pamphlets on her ; nothing will 
be learned from it but a lesson in the lanouao-e of 
abuse, as well as in the way in which Christina's 
character has been handled by this sort of person. 
It may be stated here, once for all, that there is 
not the shadow of a basis for the multitudinous 
imputations on her morality ; they all sprang 
from the union of French jealousy and French 

Lord Bolino;broke once observed that it had 
been his lot to suffer more from his friends than 
his enemies. Such has also been the lot of 
Christina. Her worst enemies have been her 
apparent friends, or those who had no reason to 
depreciate her. To deal fully with all of them 
would require a volume, but it is necessary to 
examine some. 

The French writers of the eighteenth century 
are principally answerable for the prevalent 
impression that her conversion was merely a 
means to other ends. Voltaire, above all, goes 
and leads astray in this matter : his eye saw what 


it brought the power of seeing. He will have it 
that she was a philosophe, that she " quitted the 
throne for the fine arts." This will be shown 
hereafter to be entirely wrong. When he asserts, 
however, " that if she had reigned in Italy, she 
would never have abdicated," he is certainly 
!^ right, but only accidentally. It was not the fine 
arts, but religion, which drew Christina from her 

Fryxell, again, stumbles in this respect and 
others. Nothing, he asserts, can be proved about 
Christina's conversion; he himself believes she 
was indifferent, if not atheistical: " at the beofin- 
ning of her reign Christina spoke of God ; later, 
of Providence ; last, of Fate : " this represents, in 
his view, the course of development and the final 
result. N'ow, it may be positively asserted, in 
opposition to this, that there is nothing more 
certain in all history than that Christina's con- 
version was sincere. The pages of this book will 
prove it irrefutably. Elsewhere Fryxell suggests 
she was insane. Nothing is harder to refute 
than such a charge, for it is almost impossible to 
define insanity. There was certainly in her 
some of that madness which is akin to genius ; 
but the madness which Fryxell means is not 
that. His charge will be found entirely without 
foundation, but what it is important to notice is 
how he came to make it. The fact is, that 


Fryxell has woven up into one unified narrative 
all the preserved evidences, whether sound, base- 
less, or contradictory, and presented them to his 
readers as all standing on the same level. This is 
to place the story of the apple on a level with 
the theory of gravitation, to adopt all the state- 
ments of Victor Hugo about the third Napoleon, 
and so on. AVhy, certainly, in this way Christina 
will strike us as insane, insane to a degree that 
throws all Bedlam into the shade. To give but 
a single instance, Fryxell incorporates in his 
account of Monaldeschi's execution the remark 
attributed to Christina : " Give him a stab, and 
make him confess." What a cold-blooded cruelty 
does not this suggest ! Now this is strange, for 
there is ample evidence of Christina's large- 
hearted humanity. The fact is, the words quoted 
do not occur in the authentic accounts of the 
scene ; they are nothing but a libellous invention 
of her enemies. This is merely one instance out 
of scores. Fryxell shows a complete incapacity, 
or unwillingness, to discriminate between good 
and bad evidence ; and mixes things up in the 
most absurd way. Thus, in his account of her 
religious views he confuses a philosophical dictum 
with a religious opinion, and attributes a religious 
meaning to Christina's remark (a-i^rojpos of philo- 
sophies old and new), that " the ancient follies were 
as good as the new ones." And so on continually. 


Both Fryxell and Geijer give an entirely 
erroneous impression of the last years of her 
reign. Their pictures are highly coloured with 
the misrepresentations of the ousted savans, 
the recitals of Puritans and rancorous Lutherans ; 
they tell of "the decay of morality," "youth 
showing no respect to its superiors," and so on. 
All this is simply ridiculous. There was no 
other difference between the beginning and end 
of Christina's reign than is amply explained by 
the state of her own health, which required her 
to abstain from the excessive labour she indulged 
in, and the comparative cessation of business 
after 1048 and 1650 ; there is not a particle of 
evidence justifying Geijer's assertion that "from 
this period dates the ruin of pure and decorous 
morality," which is based upon Whitelocke's 
puritanical criticisms, and an old prejudiced 
Swedish-Lutheran extract he ought to have 
known better than to accept. As to the general 
discontent of the country, Geijer is equally short- 
sighted. Christina deserves all blame for her 
reckless alienation of Crown lands ; but this was 
not the cause of the distress : that had been 
accumulating for fifty years, and was due to the 
war and the nobles, as will be shown. It was 
against them, and not Christina, that the popular 
odium was directed. Geijer 's whole portrait of 
Christina is falsely coloured ; every line betrays 


the dark influence of her enemies. The following 
instance taken at random will show the icaij this 
is done. He refers to lier " atheism and frivolity," 
and then adds, " representations from her mother 
were ill received." This gives the imj3ression 
that her excellent mother made expostulations 
on her evil courses, and she persisted in them. 
Now, any one who will refer to page 183 of this 
book will open his eyes wide, when he sees these 
" expostulations " there presented in their true 
light. The fact is, Maria Eleanora was the mouth- 
piece of the insolence of the Lutheran clergy, 
who suspected Christina of lukewarmness in the 
Swedish faith, fixed upon Bourdelot as the cause, 
and had the impertinence to send in a petition 
for his dismissal, which they did not dare to 
present to the Queen themselves ! 

Even Kanke himself, to whom, let me say, this 
book is indebted on every page, must neverthe- 
less stand convicted of careless acceptance of 
baseless charges against her. Here, again, it 
would require a pamphlet to expose fully all his 
errors. Some instances must stand for the rest. 
In his examination of her conversion, he says, 
" she repeatedly (oft) declared that she had not 
discovered any essential errors in Protestantism, 
but, &c." Now, first, this " repeatedly " is Eanke's 
own addition to the original charge, which only 
says she did so once. But, secondly, Grauert 


shows [vol. ii., p. 62] that the whole statement is 
false, and rests on a mere mistranslation of a 
Latin passage in Wagenseil ! What a basis for 
an important statement damaging Christina's 
sincerity ! Again, speaking of her secrecy in 
the negotiations for her conversion, Ranke says, 
" the charm of this affair to Christina was princi- 
pally in the certainty that no one had the slight- 
est suspicion of her proceedings." But there are 
absolutely no grounds for attributing such a 
small-minded love for hide>and-seek to Christina, 
whose character was not of that kind. She had 
the best of all reasons for preserving absolute 
secrecy; her abdication and her revenues, nay, 
her crown and life itself, would have been 
seriously endangered, had there leaked out the 
slightest inkling that she was meditating 
becoming a Catholic. 

That Ranke was not writing carefully, or at 
first hand, in this part of his book, is proved by 
a thing in itself of small moment. At the con- 
clusion of the ceremony of her abdication, he 
states that the Peasants' deputy returned to his 
seat, without having said one word. Now, in fact, 
he made a long and very peculiar speech, which 
is fully reported in the very passage in White- 
locke's journal, to which Ranke refers. 

Mr. Hardinge, again, while he recognizes the 
sincerity of Christina's conversion, has based his 


view of her character far too readily on the state- 
ments of her enemies, on whom he permits him- 
self to improve. For instance, Montpensier 
asserts that Christina " used to swear by God " 
at Paris. Other observers deny that they ever 
heard her swear. Still, Christina herself admits 
that she used to swear, adding that she learned 
the habit in Sweden,* where at that time all, 
both men and women, were accustomed to do so 
in conversation ; but she adds that she had since 
entirely broken herself of that bad habit. Hence 
she certainly swore, if at all, very little. That is 
all the evidence as to her swearing. But see how 
Mr. Hardinge improves this. " Cromwell," he 
says, " did not wish to have Christina in England. 
Christina, let loose among the Pharisees of White- 
hall, swearing lihe one of Ruperfs trooj)ei's, jesting 
profanely at the expense of the elect .... would 
have shocked feelings which, &c." (The Italics 
are ours.) 

In this way do casual hints and unfounded 

* Observe an instance of how Arckeuholtz, whom later 
writers follow, falsifies history for his ends. Christina her- 
self says she learned the habit of swearing from her own 
countrymen and women ; and it is matter of history that 
her statement is correct. But Arckenholtz, who always tries 
to screen his Swedes, says, that since Bourdelot was said to 
he one of the best swearers of his time, " it is therefore this 
wicked man that was the cause of her failing in this respect." 
This is a good specimen of the way in which Bourdelot has 
been maligned. 


misrepresentations grow into definite charges. 
The process of time does it all. Christina's 
last biographer, Gustafson, in his 'Bidrag till 
Historien om Drottning Kristina's afsagelse och 
Riksdagen,' 1654, speaks as follows, on page ^6 : 
" It has been asserted that Christina determined 
to quit the Swedish throne in consequence of 
her inclination to the Catholic faith. But she 
had, at the end of her reign, principally through 
Bourdelot's influence, arrived at such a view of 
life that it was all the same to her to which 
religion she belonged. That she subsequently 
adopted the Catholic faith rests on this, that it 
appealed more to her love of display, and was 
more convenient for her residence in foreign 
Catholic countries. We must not overlook the 
sensation that would be aroused b}' such a con- 
version, nor that it was just Christina's highest 
wish to excite remark, and get herself talked 
about. For the rest, she herself considered her 
solemn conversion as a farce." 

Any one who will read the following pages 
through, will not only convince himself that all 
this is entirely false, but will even wonder how 
any man professing familiarity with the subject, 
could ever make statements in such glaring con- 
tradiction with all the facts. It shows, at any 
rate, that the Swedes have never forgiven her for 
turning her back upon them. What, however, 


is worth noticing about it is, the evidence he 
adduces in proof of accusations so sweeping. For 
confirmation of all, we are referred to Arcken- 
holtz, in his account of her conversion, which 
happens to be exactly that part of his work which 
is worth nothing at all. The story of her calling 
her conversion a farce is a foolish libel due to 
Chevreau, who is entirely unworthy of credit. 
But the world believes what it likes ; the amusing 
always gets in before the true. In Christina we 
have the best possible illustration of the aphorism 
— inter dum fucata falsitas in multis est probahilior 
et smpe rationibus vincit nuclam veritateni. 

With regard to the present little book, its aim 
is to present facts instead of fiction. It lays 
claim to no beauties of style ; its only merit, if 
any, lies here — that w^hereas the received method 
of dealino^ with Christina is to abstract her from 
her relations, and compile her history in the 
light of mere tittle-tattle and hostile on-dits, the 
method attempted here is to view her in the con- 
crete, replace her in her circumstances, and then 
see how the charges brought against her agree 
with the facts. One absurd charge will then be 
found to disappear — the perpetual charge of 
"inconsistency and fickleness," which in nine cases 
out of ten proves nothing but the laziness of those 
who make it. Time, place, and " circumstances, 
which with some gentlemen pass for nothing," 



are the important matters. " The time, tlie 
time," cries Michelet, "let us replace our man 
in his time ; laissez Id vos sysfemes.'^ 

It is quite possible for different persons to 
take different views of Christina when they are 
acquainted with the facts. But what is not to 
be allowed is, that people should go on abusing 
her, without knowing anything about her.* And 
a biographer is not called upon to paint imagi- 
nary portraits, or say what character he might or 
might not possibly admire or dislike ; it is better 
to praise people for what they are than abuse 
them for what they are not. 

No space could be given to Gustavus Adolphus ; 

* In the recently published collection of ' Instructions aux 
Ministres de France' from 1648, M. Geffroy, Membre de 
rinstitut, who writes the introduction to the volume on 
Sweden, speaks thus of Christina, a-propos of her motives to 
abdicate : " On a signale a bon droit son peu de capacite aux 
grandes affaires, ses difficultes en presence d'une aristocratic, 
et meme de ministres assez peu fiexibles, et les embarras 
financieres que des guerres incessantes causaient a la Suede. 
Toutes ces raisons doivent etre comptees assure'ment ; mais il 
faut ajouter I'inconsistance d'esprit, et cette secheresse de 
coeur qui allait jusqu'a la cruaute." (The italics are ours.) 

Where did M. Geffroy get his information about Christina ? 
From Dumas' ridiculous play? One can forgive the " secheresse 
de coeur" though how can that possibly be a motive to 
abdicate ? But what are we to say of his assertion as to her 
want of political capacity? Even her bitterest enemies 
never disputed her remarkable political genius. Such 
ignorance, or something worse, in a Membre do I'lnstitut, is 
no credit to French literature. On la signale a hon droit. 


as to relate his life after 1626, the period of his 
most important activity, would be to write his 
history as well as Christina's. Military events, 
useless unless fully detailed, have only been 
considered in so far as they had influence on 

While every effort has been made to be at once 
full and succinct, the book does not profess to 
be a complete history of Sweden or any other 
country. Of its manifold shortcomings I am 
deeply conscious, and would fain have seen 
some more redoubtable champion coming for- 
ward on behalf of the truth and of Christina ; 
but none such has appeared. I can only venture 
to hope that in this instance too the old Greek 
axiom may be verified, that the half is more 
than the whole. 

My best thanks are due to the kind friend by 
whose encouragement the book was written. 

Oxford, 1889. 




Sketch of Swedish history from Gustavus Vasa to 
Christina — Birth of Christina — Early years — 
Death of Gustavus Adolphus — Crisis in Sweden — 
The Form of Government — The Regents — Axel 
Oxenstiern — The situation in Germany — Nord- 
lingen— Wittstock 1-3G 


Maria Eleanora and the Regents — Education of Chris- 
tina — Her political aptitude and genius — Course 
of the war in Germany — And Denmark — Chris- 
tina's policy-— Peace of Bromsebro — Christina 
mounts the throne— Internal affairs of Sweden — 
The peace of West]3halia — Swedish politics divided 
upon it — Progress of the negotiations — Christina's 
energy and statesmanship — Signing of the Peace 
— Gains of Sweden — Condition of Germany . 37-82 


Bull of Innocent X. — Polish election — Christina's fame 
— Chanut's account of her — Mannerschied's — Mar- 
riage proposals — Charles Gustavus — Christina's 
objection to marry — Her determination to declare 
Charles her successor — Carries her point — Corona- 
tion of Christina .... 83-123 




Analysis of the internal diflSculties of Sweden — The 
crisis of 1650 — Policy of Christina — Her intention 
of abdicating — Her knowledge of foreign affairs — 
Sketch of the social condition of Sweden — Rela- 
^ ' lions of Christina with literary and scientific men 

— Her multifarious interests — Endeavours to raise 
standard of culture. .... 124-171 

c.p-..-^ - - CHAPTER V. 

Dangerous state of Christina's health, mental and 
physical — Her relations with Bourdelot examined 
— Remonstrances of the clergy — Her relations with 
5 ' Pimentelli and others — Unfounded charges re- 

specting them — Whitelocke's embassy — Greneral 
foreign policy of Christina — Affair of Count 
Magnus de la Gardie — Dangers incurred by Chris- 
tina — The Messenius conspiracy . . 172-213 


Christina's determination to abdicate — Her letter to 

Chanut — Analysis of her religious opinions — Takes 

steps in preparation for her conversion — Announces 

<? ^ 1 her intention of abdicating — The diet of 1654 — 

Her abdication — Accession of Charles X. . 214-241 


Opinions expressed on her— She leaves Sweden — Her 
travels through Europe — Abjures Lutheranism 
at Brussels — Election of Pope Alexander VII. — 
Public profession of Christina at Innsbriick — 
Journey through Italy — Entry into Rome — In- 
trigues of the Spanish faction against her — First 
visit to France — Various accounts of her recep- 
tion 242-281 




Second visit to France — Moualdesclii — Returns to 
Rome — Pecuniary difficulties — Quarrels with the 
Pope — Death of Charles X. —Determines to visit 
Sweden — Her motives examined — Her reception — 
Eeturns to Hamburg — And Rome — Disputes in 
Rome — Returns to Sweden — Ill-treated by the 
Swedes — Death of Alexander VII. — Election of 
Clement IX. — Rejoicings in Hamburg . 282-310 


Returns to Rome — Becomes a candidate for the 
throne of Poland — Her life in Rome — Relations 
with eminent men — Her interest in politics — 
Later history of Sweden — Pope Innocent XI. — 
His quarrel with Louis XIV. as to the regale — 
Molinos — Christina's letter on the Revocation of 
the Edict of Nantes — John Sobieski relieves 
Vienna — The district-franchise question— Chris- 
tina's quarrel with the Pope — Closing years of 
her life — Her criticism of the situation in England 
—Her death— Conclusion . . . 320-354 


Christina as an author — Her memoirs — Reflections on 
Alexander the Great — And Julius Ctesar — Her 
Aphorisms ...... 355-361 

Appendix 302 

[Note. — For an explanation of the medal on the back, see 
p. 328.] 




It is not necessary, in order to understand 
Christina and her time, to go back into the 
mists of Scandinavian antiquity. The modern 
history of Sweden begins with Gustavus Yasa. 
And of all national histories, that of Sweden has 
been most dependent upon, and conditioned by, 
the personal character of its monarchs. " As I 
write the history of Sweden," exclaims Geijer, 
"I feel as strongly as may be that it is the 
history of her kings." The sublime genius of 
some among them is not more wonderful than 
the sustained elevation of all ; they are a gallery 
of heroes, which it would be difficult to parallel 
elsewhere. The family characteristic, from Gus- 
tavus Yasa to Charles XII., is a fiery energy of 
will and impatience of restraint, combined with 
the highest intellectual power. These qualities 
are pre-eminently illustrated in Christina, who 
is well worthy to take her place in the series, 



although a woman ; and perhaps her story gains 
additional interest on that very account. 

In 1397, by the Treaty of Calmar, Denmark, 
Norway, and Sweden had been combined into a 
great Scandinavian monarchy by the " Semiramis 
of the North," Queen Margaret of Denmark. 
This union, however, was always more of a name 
than a fact, for it had no foundation in popular 
sympathies ; in addition to the Danish monarchs, 
Sweden continued to have rulers of her own. 
In 1513, Christian II., " the tyrant," succeeded to 
the throne : his violent and impolitic despotism 
sounded the knell of the Act of Union. It was 
his aim to break the power of the Swedish nobles ; 
but if he designed thereby to conciliate and benefit 
the popular element in the nation, his massacre 
of the principal nobles on November 8, 1520, 
" the blood bath of Stockholm," was as foolish as 
it was inhuman. By this gross blunder, he roused 
the Swedish national feeling to the necessary 
pitch ; and nothing w^as wanted to assure their 
independence but a man. The Swedes found 
him in the young Gustavus, son of ,Eric 
Johanson, with whom begins the history of 
Sweden and the house of Yasa.* 

Though only twenty-two years of age, he had 
already made himself known. He had borne the 

* The name comes most probably from the faggots, or 
wisps, in the family arms. 


Swedish banner in the battle of Brennkirk in 
1518, in which Christian was defeated by Steno 
Sture. Sent as a hostage to Denmark, and 
carried away captive to Jutland, he remained 
there a year, brooding over the condition of his 
country ; thence he escaped in disguise, to learn 
soon after of the Stockholm massacre, in which 
his own father perished, and swear a terrible 
revenge ; a price was set on his head, and he 
had to fly to Dalecarlia, where his escapes and 
wanderings became historic ; till at length with 
a growing band of peasants and patriots he came 
forward to liberate his country. He took 
Westeras and Upsala, and laid siege to Stock- 
holm. Fortune favoured him ; for at this 
critical moment, Christian was expelled from 
his own country by the Danes (1523). The 
garrison in Stockholm withdrew, and Gustavus 
was shortly after crowned King of Sweden by his 
grateful countrymen. 

Like all inaugurators of a new era, he found 
that the initial victory was but the beginning of 
his difficulties. Before him lay long struggles 
with all orders in the State. The nobles, 
gradually regaining their courage and position, 
regarded him as merely one of themselves, and 
an upstart ; the peasants had wanted a liberator, 
and found to their disgust they had got a master. 
But the greatest difficulty of all lay with the 

B 2 


clergy. It has been asserted that the Keforma- 
tion in Sweden differed from that in other 
countries, in that here it was introduced by 
the Government for political ends before being 
preached to the people, instead of spreading 
from below upwards. This is true enough, but 
it must be remembered that Gustavus could 
never have forced it upon an entirely reluctant 
people ; moreover, the initial cause, or rather 
occasion, of the Keformation in all places, the 
vices and abuses of the clergy, existed in Sweden 
as strongly as elsewhere. By its scandalous 
self-seeking and unpatriotic action, the Church, 
represented by Gustavus Trolle, had " got itself 
regarded as a foreign power in the State," and 
Gustavus Yasa made use of this state of things 
for his own ends. He studiously avoided posi- 
tively declaring that he was introducing the 
Lutheran religion (though he was in corre- 
siDondence with Luther) ; but aimed at depriving 
the clergy of temporal power, for the purposes of 
his own absolutism, and in order to get their 
wealth into his hands. He effected this most 
difficult step very diplomatically at the Eecess of 
Westeras, in 1527, which marks the establish 
ment of the Eeformation in Sweden. But its 
principles and s]3irit did not achieve a complete 
victory over old customs, and gain a definite hold, 
till the time of Charles IX., when, just as in 


England against Spain, politics combined with 
religious views to make Catholicism abhorred iu 
the eyes of the nation. 

Gustavus lived long enough to accomplish his 
threefold task, of liberating his country, founding 
it anew in a religious and political sense, and 
leaving the kingdom as an heirloom to his 
descendants, by the hereditary settlement of 
1544. He had to use all means to his end, from 
demagogic cajolery to masterful despotism ; and 
in the process he gave full evidence of his most 
striking characteristics, " strong endurance and 
great sagacity." The wisdom that lies in biding 
one's time, and knowing when to strike, was 
never more strongly exemplified than in him. 
He was of all his house the one who had most 
pre-eminently the qualifications of a builder. 

Under his two immediate successors the 
anarchy seemed beginning again; and this is 
not to be laid entirely to their charge ; such is 
always the case during the reaction from a great 
impulse, before the new mould has had time to 
^x itself. But they were by no means equal to 
their father. We need not dwell upon Eric XIV., 
who has been called the Swedish Caligula, and 
who resembles his Eoman prototype not only in 
his madness, but in the remarkable intellect 
which was clouded by it ; a certain mystery 
hangs over his life and his end ; he was deposed 


and poisoned by his brother, John. The story 
of his son — the unfortunate Gustavus Ericson — 
and his lifelong exile, is among the romances 
of history, but must not detain us; yet we 
may note, that he too showed the hereditary 
abilities of his race, and possibly by his sojourn 
at the Eussian Court with Boris Godunoff, where 
his legend and his wanderings made a great 
impression on the popular mind, prepared the 
way for the false Demetrius. 

The reign of John III. is memorable chiefly for 
his designs towards a restoration of Catholicism 
in Sweden. His marriage with Catherine Jagel- 
lonica, an ardent Catholic, by which the crowns 
of Poland and Sweden were united, had the 
most important results. Catherine had probably 
great influence on his policy ; for at the 
beginning of his reign and during her life he 
worked energetically in the Catholic interest ; 
published his Eed Book, or Liturgy, in 1576, 
and seemed on the point of establishing 
Catholicism, or something closely akin to it, in 
Sweden, aided by the Jesuits, who came from 
Rome to assist him. But after her death he 
turned completely round, and even persecuted 
the doctrines he had endeavoured to spread. 
There was no further chance for the Counter Re- 
formation till his death. 

His son, Sigismund III., a devout and eager 


Catholic, soon succeeded, by his religious, 
vacillating, and impolitic conduct, in iden- 
tifying in the Swedish mind the ideas of 
Catholic and anti-national ; the Lutheran cause 
found its champion in Duke Charles, his uncle, 
the third son of Gustavus Vasa, and the " second 
founder of Protestant Sweden." Charles stood 
in exactly the same position as his great son 
Gustavus Adolphus did at a later time ; in his 
person centred the opposition to the Catholic 
schemes. The crisis was one of those which 
determine the history of the world. Sigismund 
was in fact conquered and expelled from Sweden ; 
his heirs were excluded from the throne, to which 
Charles was raised in 1604 as Charles IX. The 
Catholic reaction was lost in the North, and 
Lutheranism, till now indefinite and wanting 
cohesion, was suddenly crystallised into the 
unalterable political faith of Sweden. 

Sigismund expelled, Charles set himself to 
reorganise the State, which had been falling 
asunder under his brothers, and especially to 
crush the power of the nobles, who were again 
becoming formidable to the Crown. He was the 
greatest of the sons of Gustavus Yasa, " and 
perhaps," says Geijer, " the greatest of all his 
house ; his spirit was full of the hereafter ; in 
him, more than any of his contemporaries, 
laboured the burning future, which burst forth in 


the Thirty Years' War." He left the Protestant 
cause to his son, nothing doubting he would 
accomplish the work he himself had to leave 
undone. " Hie faciei,'^ he would say, laying his 
hand on the head of Gustavus Adolphus ; " he 
will complete it." 

The life of Gustavus Adolphus, a perpetual 
conflict, fulfilled the prophecy and carried out 
the policy of his father. His history, his early 
wars with Denmark, Russia, and Poland ; the 
gradual evolution of the Swedish hero into the 
champion of the Protestant cause ; how, in the 
short interval between his landing in Pomerania 
in 1630 and his death at Lutzen in 1632, he 
turned the tide of victory on the Catholics, and 
established the ultimate result, though he did 
not live to see it, must be sought elsewhere. 
Here, we can but notice the essential features of 
his character. He presents the most remarkable 
analogies to Csesar, and to him alone. In both, 
the highest creative military genius was com- 
bined with a humanity quite unknown to all the 
other generals of their time. Both were remark- 
able for that " marvellous serenity, which never 
deserted them in good or evil days." Like Caesar, 
Gustavus was "prodigal to recklessness of his 
great life," and, like Csesar, it was owing to his 
recklessness that he came by his end. Both, 
again, died leaving their work incomplete ; and 


hence in both cases speculation has been busy as 
to their designs, yet without being able to deter- 
mine what was the ultimate plan which was 
nipped untimely in the bud. In both cases, 
an untimely death, the greatest of misfortunes 
for the world at that time, has canonised its 
victim in the eyes of posterity. 

These were Christina's ancestors. " The 
special feature in Charles IX. is his inborn striv- 
ing to grasp across every limit ; beyond every 
goal set to another." This imaginative striving 
after ideal objects, this poetical dissatisfaction 
with ordinary goals, and inability to sit still, 
is, in fact, the keynote in the Yasa character. It 
is the explanation of Christina's strange career. 

On November 25, 1620, was celebrated the 
marriage of Gustavus Adolphus with Maria 
Eleanora, eldest daughter of John Sigismund, 
Elector of Brandenburg. Her father died before 
it took place, and her brother was not anxious 
for it, fearing the preponderating influence of 
Sweden in North Germany ; but he had to accept 
it with what grace he could muster. 

" This princess," says Christina herself in her 
Memoirs, " w^ho was beautiful, and possessed all 
the good and bad qualities of her sex, Lived with 
the king in an affectionate union, to which 
nothing was wanting but an heir." Their first 



child, a daughter, died in her fourth year ; a 
second died also in a few months. During a 
journey to Finland, the queen found herself in 
an interesting situation for the third time. 
All signs, aided perhaps by hopes in so anxious 
a crisis, led her to expect a son. The court 
returned to Stockholm, and the king was sum- 
moned from Poland, where he had just been 
victorious. Both king and queen dreamed 
dreams, forecasting the happy event. Astrologers, 
whose influence was still strong in Europe, pre- 
sented themselves with confident predictions. 
They affirmed that the crisis must of necessity 
be fatal either to the king, or the queen, or the 
child that was to be born. Should it, however, 
live twenty-four hours, then it would eventually 
become great. 

On November 8, 1626, Christina was born. 
" I came into the world all over hair ; my voice 
was strong and harsh. This made all the women 
think I was a boy, and they gavie vent to their 
joy in exclamations, which at first deceived the 
king, prepared as he was to wish for an heir. 
When the mistake was discovered, they were 
afraid to undeceive him. At last his sister, the 
Princess Catharine, for whom he had always had 
a great affection, undertook the task. She carried 
me to him and let him see for himself what she 
did not dare to tell him. The king, without 


showing any surprise, took me in his arms, saying 
composedly to her : * Let us thank God, sister ; 
I hope this girl will be as good as a boy to me ; 
may God preserve her now that He has sent her/ 
The princess, wishing to please him, tried to 
remind him he was still young enough to hope 
for an heir ; but the king replied instantly, '' My 
sister, I am quite satisfied ; may God preserve her 
to me.' So saying he sent me away with his 
blessing. Every one was surprised to see that he 
seemed pleased. He gave orders to celebrate the 
event with the customary rejoicings for male heirs. 
I was called Christina." The king afterwards 
said of her, with a laugh, " She will be clever, 
she has taken us all in." It is hardly necessary 
to add that the predictions of the astrologers came 
to nothing, unless we give them credit for their 
assertion that the child was destined to be great. 
The queen, who was not undeceived so soon as 
the king, when she discovered the mistake was 
inconsolable. " She could not bear to see me, 
because she said I was a girl, and ugly to boot ; 
and she was right enough, for I was as tawny as 
a little Moor." This dislike had important con- 
sequences for Christina later on. Her father, on 
the contrary, loved her, and she reciprocated his 
affection ; she was indeed her father's child. She 
seemed instinctively to discover the difference 
between the way in which she was regarded by 


her father and mother. Christina herself asserts 
that various means were tried to make away with 
her, such as dro]3ping her, letting beams fall on 
her. We shall be slow to believe this, but, how- 
ever that may be, she bore all her life the marks 
of one of these untoward accidents, in that one of 
her shoulders was always higher than the other ; 
"a defect that I could have cured if I had 
taken the trouble," she says — but she never did. 
To make up for this want of affection on the 
part of her mother, Gustavus seems to have been 
very fond of her. In an assembly of the Estates 
summoned for that purpose on December 24, 1627, 
he caused them to swear allegiance to her, and 
recognise her as heir to the crown. And although 
during her early years the Polish war and affairs 
of State gave him little time for less important 
matters, he showed in many ways his care and 
love for her. Hearing that she was taken 
dangerously ill, when he was on a visit to the 
mines, he came back to her, " quicker than any 
courier could," to find her at the point of death ; 
his inconsolable grief was however changed to 
extraordinary joy when she recovered, and he 
ordered Te Deums to be sung in the churches 
for her escape. Another time he took her with 
him to Calmar, when she was not as yet two 
years old, and subjected her to a test, the result 
of which increased his affection for her. They 


were hesitating to fire a salute with the guns of 
the fortress in his honour, according to the 
custom, for fear lest it might frighten a child of 
such importance as the little heiress to the throne 
of Sweden. The governor sent to ask for an 
order. The king, after weighing the matter a 
little, said, " Yes, fire, she is a soldier's daughter, 
and must get accustomed to it." Accordingly 
they saluted in due form. " I was with the king 
in his carriage, and instead of being frightened, 
like any other child, I laughed and clapped my 
hands ; not being able as yet to speak, I ex- 
pressed my joy as well as I could in my fashion, 
signifying by signs that they should fire again. 
This little event increased the king's tenderness 
for me ; he hoped I might be naturally as in- 
trepid as himself." Since that time he took 
her with him to the reviews of his troops ; — " he 
used to jest with me, — * Come, I'll take you one 
of these days to a place that will please you.' 
But unfortunately," proceeds Christina, "death 
-prevented him from keeping his word, and I had 
not the happiness of serving my apprenticeshij) 
under so good a master." 

The time, however, approached when he was to 
leave Sweden never to return. On the 19th 
May, 1630, he bade farewell to the Estates in an 
affecting speech. He presented to them the 
little Christina, at this time not four years old ; 


commending her to them, as the heiress of the 
kingdom, and his daughter. Then he went on : 
" Seeing that many perchance may imagine that 
we charo:e ourselves with this war without cause 
given, so take I God the most high to witness, in 
whose face I here sit, that I have undertaken it, 
not out of my own pleasure, nor from lust for 
war ; but for many years have had most pressing 
motive thereto, mostly for that our oppressed 
brethren in religion may be freed from the papal 
yoke, which by God's grace we hope to effect. 
And since it usually comes to pass that the 
pitcher which is carried often to the well comes 
to be broken at last, so will it go with me too, 
that I who in so many trials and dangers have 
shed my blood for Sweden's welfare, and yet until 
now escaped, through God's gracious protection, 
with life unharmed, must lose it one day ; there- 
fore will I before my departure at this time 
commend you, the collective Estates of Sweden, 
both present and absent, to God the most high, 
wishing: that after this wretched and burdensome 
life we may by God's good pleasure meet and 
consort in that which is heavenly and imperish- 
able." " On this occasion," says Christina, " they 
had taught me a little complimentary speech 
to recite to him ; but as he was so busy that he 
could not attend to me, I, seeing that he was not 
listening, pulled him by his buff coat, and made 


him turn round to me. Perceiving me, he took 
me in his arms, and embraced me, unable to 
restrain his tears, as those who were present at 
the time have told me. They tell me, that when 
he was gone, I cried so hard for three whole days 
without stopping, that my eyes were seriously en- 
dangered, and I came very near losing my sight, 
which, like that of the king my father, was very 
weak. They took my tears as a bad omen, all the 
more as I naturally cried little and very rarely." 
Before his departure Gustavus Adolphus did 
not forget, in the midst of the multitudinous 
cares and business of State which demanded his 
instant attention, to provide for the future well- 
being of his daughter. He consigned her to the 
care of his sister, the Princess Catharine ; her 
husband, John Casimir, the Prince Palatine, he 
left in charge of his finances. This office he was 
deprived of after the king's death, being feared 
by the Eegency on account of his Calvinism, and 
suspected of designs on the monarchy. The 
queen objected strongly to this arrangement ; she 
detested the princess for reasons of her own : but 
" the king would be obeyed in this matter," and 
he was. He caused the Estates and the Army to 
swear fealty to Christina and acknowledge her as 
lawful heir. The five great officers of the State 
were to be her guardians. The queen was 
specially excluded alike from the State and the 


Government. This certainly seems to us hard, 
but Gustavus, though he was fond of his wife, and 
liked, says Chanut, to see her well dressed, 
considered her unfit to hold any position in State 
affairs, a ad we must suppose he had good reasons 
for his actions. This was not at all to the taste 
of the queen ; we shall have occasion to recur to 
the troubles which arose out of her antipathy to 
the Kegency further on. It is worth while to 
notice that Christina says herself, she could 
justify her father in this matter if she chose, 
though she has not done so. 

The care of Gustavus for his daughter did not 
stop here — he chose further for her two governors 
and a tutor to superintend her education. " He 
was as fortunate in his choice," says Christina, 
" as he could be, restricted as he was to men of 
Swedish nationality." This caution he thought 
necessary, it is said, because it had been predicted 
to him that Christina would not die in the faith 
of her fathers, and he wished to guard against 
this by his choice of men who were least likely 
to lead her astray. Whether this was so or not, 
her governors and tutors were Swedes. The first 
was Axel Baner, senator and grand master of the 
Koyal House, a clever courtier, a man of the 
world, and very dear to the king. He was 
brother to the celebrated Baner who did so 
much to retrieve the fortune of the Swedes after 


the king's death. Under Charles IX., who was 
hostile to the nobility, his father lost his life on 
the scaffold. Gustavus had reconciled the family 
to himself, and, as the event showed, it was well 
for Sweden in her hour of need that he did so. 
Axel Baner was good at all physical exercises, 
but very ignorant, knowing no language but 
his own ; much given in his youth to wine and 
women, and headstrong and violent in character ; 
he seems never accordingly to have been a 
favourite of Christina's, though she calls him a 
very honest man. He died in 1639. 

As additional governor the king chose Gustav 
Horn, also a senator ; a man of great culture, who 
knew all the foreign languages, which he spoke 
well ; had travelled in France, Spain, and Italy, 
was versed in diplomatic affairs, and the manners 
of foreign countries, and bore a high character. 
But more important than either of these for 
Christina's education was her tutor John Matthise, \ 
Doctor in Theology, previously Professor of 
Poetry in the University of Upsala, then Eector 
of the College at Stockholm, and chaj)lain to the 
king ; a man whose varied culture and wide 
and tolerant spirit formed a striking exception 
to his class and time. His admirable character, 
kindly without being weak, acquired a great and 
lasting influence over Christina. In sj)ite of her 
change of religion, she always retained her old 



veneration for him ; slie made liim later Bishop of 
Strengnas. His favourite scheme of a general 
reconciliation in religion, and the consequent 
suspicion that he had a leaning to Calvinism — 
the worst of crimes in the eyes of the Swedes of 
that age — brought him, after her abdication, into 
disfavour with the bic^oted ecclesiastics who ruled 
the country, and he had to resign his bishopric. 

Leaving the government in the hands of the 
senate, the king embarked on the 30th May, 

There are still preserved two letters written 
by Christina to her father in Germany some time 
during the next three years, which are worthy 
of notice as being the earliest letters we have 
from her pen. The style, and the fact that 
Gustavus had strictly enjoined her tutors to let 
her write her letters alone, declare them to 
be her own composition. They are interest- 
ing, further, as showing that she was already 
acquainted with German. Here is the second : — 

" Most geacious and beloved Father,— As 
I have not the good fortune of being with Your 
Majesty, I send Your Majesty my portrait. Will 
Your IMajesty please to think of me by it, and 
come back to me soon, and send me meanwhile 
something pretty ? I will always be good and 
learn to pray diligently. I am quite well, praise 


God. May He send us always good news of Your 
Majesty. I commend you to Him always, and 

" Your Majesty's dutiful daughter, 

" Christina." 

And the king on his side, in the midst of his 
affairs, did not forget his family. In 1630 he 
writes to Oxenstiern : " Though the cause be good 
and just, the event of war is nevertheless uncertain 
by reason of sin. We cannot count on the life of 
man .... If anything happens to me, my family 
are worthy of compassion on my own account as 
well as for other reasons. They are but of the 
weaker sex — the mother, without capacity; my 
daughter, a young and helpless girl ; unfortunate 
if they govern themselves, in danger if others 
govern them. Love and natural affection cause 
me to write these lines to you, an instrument God 
has given me, not only to aid me in great affairs 
but also to guard them against all misfortunes 
that might happen to me, and all that I hold 
most dear in this world." 

A sentiment akin to the old Greek notion, 
that "the divinity is jealous," and is wont to 
visit too great prosperity with its wrath, seems to 
have haunted Gustavus in his last years. " On 
his return to Saxony in 1632, shortly before 
Lutzen, the people received, him with such 

c 2 


extraordinary acclamations, that he said to liis 
chaplain : " I fear lest God should punish me for 
the madness of the people. Would not one think 
these people look on me as their divinity ? He 
who is named the jealous God might well bring 
it home to them that I am but a weak mortal." • 
His presentiment did not deceive him. On 
November 6th, 1632, was fought the fatal battle 
of Lutzen, and "the Lion of the North, the 
bulwark of the Protestant faith," was found dead 
on the field; though he died, as his daughter 
said, in the arms of victory. 

The death of Gustavus caused a profound 
sensation throughout Europe. By the Imperial- 
ist party it was received with manifestations 
of joy : at Rome, Brussels, Vienna, and Madrid 
it was celebrated with rejoicings that lasted 
for days ; even in Paris people could hardly 
restrain their satisfaction at being delivered 
from a too powerful ally. *' This Goth," said 
Louis XIIL, after Leipsic, " must be arrested in 
his career." At the moment when the balance 
Richelieu schemed for seemed to be on the 
point of disappearing in the might of a great 
Northern Empire, Fortune played into his 

It was very different with the Protestant party. 
The death of their champion dashed their hopes 


to the ground. On the Swedes the news fell 
like a thunderclap. " First came tidings," says 
Count Peter Brahe, " that the battle had had a 
j)rosperous issue. The next day after, which was 
the 8th of December, at half-past nine in the 
forenoon, word was sent me that I should come 
into the treasury chamber. When I entered, I 
saw all the councillors mightily troubled, some 
wiping their eyes, others wringing their hands. 
The Palsgrave came to me at the door lamenting. 
My heart misgave me, and I knew not what to 
fear, till I heard to my sore grief what had 
occurred. Both strangers and countrymen were 
in great woe and perturbation, despaired of the 
public welfare, and deemed that all would go to 
wreck and ruin. We of the council, as many as 
w^ere here present, agreed to a well-considered ' 
resolution before we parted — to live and die with 
one another, in defence and for the weal of our 
Fatherland ; and not only here at home to uphold 
our cause with all our power and in unity, but 
also to finish the war against the emperor and 
all his party, according to the design of the king 
of happy memory ; and for a secure peace." 

It was a moment analogous to that when the 
news of the disaster at Syracuse came to Athens. 
Like the Athenians, the Swedes did not despair. 
They forgot their internal differences in the face of 
the conimon danger. Above all it was necessary 


to determine the succession. King Ladislaus, who 
had succeeded his father Sigismund on the throne 
of Poland, thought that now or never was his 
chance of regaining the Swedish throne. " The 
partisans of Sigismund said openly, in various 
parts of Sweden, that his children showed more 
inclination for the Protestant religion than that 
of Popery, in which they had been brought up ; 
and that should one of them in good faith embrace 
the confession of Augsburg, there was nothing to 
hinder him from regaining his rights on the 
crown." It was further to be feared that at any 
moment the old enemy, Denmark, might discover, 
that Sweden's weakness was her own opportunity. 
It was a dangerous moment for the monarchy. 
Christina asserts in her Memoirs, and the fact is 
by no means improbable, that it was debated in 
certain circles whether it would not be well to set 
aside the infant heir, and establish a Kepublic. 
It is certain, however, that such a course was im- 
possible ; the lower orders and the army would 
have insisted on the queen's rights. It was accord- 
ingly determined for the security of the State 
immediately to proclaim the queen as heir ; John 
Casimir led the way in giving the young queen 
his support, and the nobles followed his example. 
In the beginning of 1633 the Estates convened at 
Stockholm declared that, in conformity with the 
decrees of the Diet in 1604 at Norkoping, and at 


Stockholm in 1627, Cliristina, daughter of the 
late King Gustavus, called the Great, should be 
Queen-elect, and hereditary princess of Sweden 
— with the reservation, however, that when she 
came of age, she should confirm all the rights, 
liberties, and privileges granted by former kings. 

Hereupon there occurred an amusing incident. 
When the ]\Iarshal of the Diet proposed it to the 
Estates, a member of the Order of Peasants, 
named Laurent or Larsson, interrupted him, 
asking, " Who is this daughter of Gustavus ? we 
do not know her, and have never seen her." 

The Commonalty all began to murmur, and 
the Marshal answered, " I'll show her to you — if 
you will." And thereupon he went to fetch 
Christina, brought her into the assembled Estates 
and showed her to the Peasants, especially to the 
said Larsson. He, after having looked at her and 
considered her closely, cried, " 'Tis herself — 'tis 
the very eyes, nose, and forehead of Gustavus, 
let her be our queen." Accordingly she was 
proclaimed by the Estates Queen of Sweden, and 
placed upon the throne. 

Leaving the form of government to be settled 
in accordance with the advice of the Chancellor, 
Oxenstiern, who was absent in Germany, it was 
determined that the five highest officers of the 
State should be Regents during the queen's 
minority ; the war in Germany was to be carried 


on with all possible assistance of means and 
forces ; while the exclusion of Sigismnnd and his 
house from the throne of Sweden was reinforced. 

'' The problem presented to Gustavus Adolphus 
had been to reconcile finally to the hereditary 
monarchy as soon as possible that nobility which 
his father had oppressed. To their power he 
opposed that of an official class dependent on the 
sovereign. The Fokm of Government of 1634 
in this respect merely develops the fundamental 
principles laid down by his administration. That 
this oJBficial class rose to be a new aristocracy was 
occasioned by circumstances inevitable to a 
government of guardians." 

This remarkable document is said to be the 
earliest known example of a written constitution. 
Its main provisions are as follows : After requir- 
ing the king and his subjects to profess the 
Lutheran faith, and the confession of Augsburg, 
and directing that the succession shall be regu- 
lated conformably to the hereditary settlement of 
1544, it enacts that the king shall govern with 
full powers, but according to law ; assisted by a 
senate of twenty-five members chosen by him 
from the nobility, including the five great officers 
of the State, who were to be ex officio members — 
namely, the High Steward, the High Marshal, 
the High Admiral, the Lord Treasurer, and the 


Lord Cliancellor, the heads respectively of the 
five Colleges or Departments, of Justice, War, 
Admiralty, Exchequer, and Foreign Affairs. In 
the absence, illness, or minority of the king, the 
whole administration was to be in their hands. 
For judicial purposes there were hereby con- 
stituted four Palace Courts ; in addition to the 
principal Court of Justice, at Stockholm, presided 
over by the High Steward, assisted by four coun- 
cillors of State, and twelve others, of whom half 
were to be noble, there were provided " by reason 
of the size of the kingdom," three other courts, 
at Jonkoping for Gothland, Abo for Finland, 
Dorpat for the Transbaltic lands, each presided 
over by a member of the council with twelve 
assistants, half noble. In cases where, by reason 
of the nature of the matter or rank of the parties, 
the ordinary courts did not suffice, a special 
supreme court was to be constituted of the 
whole of these courts, together Avith the Senate 
and one burgomaster from each of the towns of 
Stockholm, Upsala, Gottenburgh, Norkoping, 


Abo, and Wiborg. To each of the four other 
colleges was assigned a certain number of assis- 
tants, chosen principally from the nobility. All 
five were to sit, except in special circumstances, 
at Stockholm. The Treasury alone had the 
power of disposing of any public funds. 

The country was further divided for judicial 


purposes into fourteen " assizes," and for admin- 
istrative purposes into twenty-four " districts," 
under as many prefects ; the town of Stockholm 
retained its own jurisdiction under its own town 
reeve. Special regulations are laid down touching 
the tenure of each particular office. All public 
functionaries, in every department, are to render 
account once a year at specified times to the 
particular college to which they belong ; at 
which yearly conventions exact account is to be 
taken of the whole state of the realm. In the 
absence, illness, or minority of the king, all new 
laws made, privileges, liberties, patents of 
nobility, &c., conferred, crown dues or taxed 
estates alienated or discharged, are legally null 
and void, unless they receive subsequent ratifi- 
cation by him. 

From this outline of the main features of the 
form of government, it will be seen that the 
whole power of the State is placed in the hands 
of the nobility. Although there is little reason 
to doubt that the general idea received the 
approbation of Gustavus Adolphus before his 
death, yet the filling in of the details may be 
confidently ascribed to Oxenstiern. It was at 
the time feared by some, that under the pretext 
of relieving him of business, this was but a scheme 
to reduce the sovereign to the position of a 
Venetian doge, and not without reason ; for such a 


result was more than probable, even with a king 
of strong character ; how much more was it likely 
to be the case with a mere girl? When ac- 
cordingly we observe that the social power of 
the nobles, not less than their political power, 
increased greatly during her minority, it will 
impress us as no slight proof of her commanding 
intellect and force of character, that she could 
acquire so speedy and so absolute a sway over 
the Senate on taking the reins of government 
at eighteen. 

The five great officers of State, who were also 
the guardians of the young queen, were : Baron 
Gabriel Oxenstiern, younger brother of the 
Chancellor, High Steward ; " a very honest 
man," says Christina ; popular with the people 
and the nobility, but of no special ability : 
Baron Gyldenheim, High Admiral, a natural 
son of the late king, a true Swede, " cast in the 
antique mould ; " his powers had been sorely 
tried by a captivity of twelve years in Poland ; 
" he loved me," she writes, " as if I had been his 
own child : " the Treasurer, Gabriel Oxenstiern, 
cousin of the Chancellor, " a worthy man, with 
abilities equal to his position " (as we have seen, 
the Eegents removed John Casimir from this 
post, in spite of his excellent fulfilment of his 
duties, because they suspected his Calvinism, and 
feared he might entertain designs on the throne) : 


Count Jacob cle la Grardie, High Marshal, originally 
of French extraction, a man whose merit had 
raised him to the honours he enjoyed ; his family 
will come before ns again ; and last, Axel Oxen- 
stiern, Chancellor, the chief man in Sweden, 
and one of the first statesmen in Europe. 

He will play a large part in Christina's life ; 
we must pause to describe him. No one knew 
him better than Christina herself, and she has 
left us her own estimate of him. " He had 
studied much during his youth, and continued 
to do so in the midst of business ; his capacity 
and knowledge of the world's affairs and interests 
were very great ; he knew the strong and weak 
points of every State in Europe. His assiduity 
and attention to business were indefatigable ; 
when he took relaxation, he found it in working. 
He has often told me that when he w^ent to rest, 
he stripped off his cares with his clothes. He 
was ambitious, but faithful and incorruptible, 
withal a little too slow and phlegmatic," — so 
much so, indeed, that, as he said himself, the 
manifold cares of State never spoiled his night's 
rest, except on two occasions, the death of 
Gustavus and the disaster of Nordlingen. 

A very close observer has painted him for us — 
Cromwell's ambassador, Whitelocke. "He was 
a tall, proper, straight, handsome old man, of the 
age of seventy-one years ; his habit was black 


cloth, a close coat lined with fur, a velvet cap on 
his head furred, and no hat ; a cloak ; his hair 
grey, his beard broad and long, his countenance 
sober and fixed, and his carriage grave and civil. 
He spoke Latin, plain and fluent and significant, 
and though he could, yet would not speak French, 
saying he knew no reason why that nation should 
be so much honoured more than others as to have 
their language used by strangers. In his con- 
ferences he would often mix pleasant stories with 
his serious discourses, and take delight in re- 
counting former passages of his life, and actions 
of his king ; and would be very large in excusing 
his senilis garrulitas'' 

He began his career under Charles IX., aban- 
doning theology for politics ; he had been the 
right hand of Gustavus Adolphus all through his 
life ; we are still to see his government during 
the Eegency, and what befell him during 
Christina's own reign, which he outlived. Thus 
his whole life was bound up Avith the house of 
Vasa. Although it is as a Foreign Minister he is 
chiefly knowu, yet Axel Oxenstiern was not only 
a diplomatist, but a statesman : especially were 
his ideas on trade in advance of his time. In a 
memorial addressed to the senate on the affairs of 
Sweden in 1633, he says, speaking of certain regu- 
lations made by Gustavus Adolphus, " Although 
at the time there were grounds for them, it is 


now clear and manifest that trade, which ever 
loves freedom, suffered under them : since the 
towns do not increase by one, two, or three 
persons only having liberty of dealing and traffic, 
but their growth comes from multiplication of 
inhabitants, and in their concourse, whence all 
the burgesses of a town derive advantages ; there- 
fore the greatest part of the corporate bodies 
and their rigorous laws, especially the needless 
cost, should be abolished. Generally it were 
advisable to open Stockholm also, at a convenient 
season of the year, both to inlanders and out- 
landers . . . and although some hucksters should 
set themselves against it, and it should have the 
appearance of impairing by free trade the main- 
tenance of the burgesses, yet he who observes 
the matter with intelligence and without bias, 
and considers the welfare of the whole, will find 
that our inland wares will thereby only be more 
in request." 

Such was the minister to whom it fell to deal 
with this difficult crisis ; the situation in Ger- 
many was one which demanded all his energies 
and his utmost skill. The death of Gustavus 
had resolved the Protestant party into a chaotic 
confusion. Judicious people were of opinion that 
" the union of Sweden and the allies would soon 
go out in smoke." Oxenstiern foresaw that the 
internal discord was far more likely to be fatal to 


their plans than all the efforts of their enemies, 
though the King of Spain was raising new levies 
in Italy, and had obtained from the Pope per- 
mission to make use for the war of the tithes in 
his country. That obedience which all had been 
willing to yield to Gustavus Adolphus would, 
he foresaw, not be continued to himself. The 
various Powers were united only in their distrust 
and hatred of Sweden. " They hate us," he 
wrote, at a later time, " for the very thing that 
ought to make them love us, — they cannot do 
without us." With the short-sighted policy 
which has distinguished German potentates in 
every age, the Northern Princes were unwilling 
to continue a war of which they were thoroughly 
weary to benefit a foreign Power. Moreover, 
although Austria was their enemy, they distrusted 
equally the overbalancing power of Sweden. '^ I 
fear there are some of them," wrote the Chancellor, 
" who have their eyes turned to the Emperor. 
They are entirely ignorant how to adajDt their 
steps to these dangerous times," " they nourish 
vain hopes ; long|orations, and reasons for doubt- 
ing, with many ceremonies, are not wanting." 
Elsewhere he speaks contemptuously of " princes 
with their heads full of ancestors, and fancies 
many hundred years old." 

The Elector of Saxony, unmindful of all that 
Sweden had done for him (he actually spoke of 


the heroic efforts of Gnstaviis to free Germany as 
" the troubles which arose in the year 1630 "), 
and furiously angry to see a simple foreign 
gentleman like Oxenstiern taking the direction 
of affairs — a position which he thought ought to 
belong to himself — not only refused to act with 
him, but even did his best to render all his 
efforts towards a firm consolidation nugatory. 
The Elector of Brandenburg was little better : 
Oxenstiern in vain endeavoured to rouse him by 
the prospect of a marriage between Christina and 
his son Frederic William : he contented himself 
with expressing his great and permanent affec- 
tion for Sweden. The Princes of Lower Saxony 
indulged in pleasing dreams of neutrality. In 
spite of all these obstacles, however, Oxenstiern 
concluded, on March 8th, 1633, a treaty with the 
four Upper or Southern Circles, at Heilbronn : by 
which they agreed to carry on the war under the 
lead of Sweden ; the direction of affairs was to be 
entrusted to Oxenstiern, aided by a council of 
six ; no separate treaty was to be concluded by 
any one of the allies. The French court seized 
the opportunity to try and enter this alliance ; 
its minister Feuquieres, who had been instructed 
to conciliate the Chancellor, made various over- 
tures to him, assured him of the favour and 
assistance of the king, his master, in any schemes 
for his own private advantage, and even offered 


to negotiate a marriage between Christina and 
his son Eric ; (this report contributed not a 
little at a later time to the dislike of Christina 
towards the party of Oxenstiern). The Chan- 
cellor, however, who knew Eichelieu, and sus- 
pected, under these insidious proposals, his 
design of making a catspaw of Sweden to gain 
his own ends, declined ; he contented himself 
with a renewal of the previous alliance between 
France and the late king. 

Into the details of the war we can only enter 
in so far as they are subsidiary to politics. After 
Lutzen, confusion reigned in the Swedish army. 
Deprived of its leader, it lost also its unity, and 
the enthusiastic spirit which had placed it so far 
above the mercenary bands of the great military 
juggler, Wallenstein. Duke Bernard of Weimar, 
who had been mainly instrumental in gaining the 
victory of Lutzen after the death of the king, 
now claimed the lead. Mutiny arose, instigated, 
Christina asserts, by Bernard himself. The 
colonels drew up their complaints in writing, 
and refused to serve unless their claims were 
granted. Oxenstiern had to grant letters of 
investiture to German lands and estates amount- 
ing, together with money, to the value of 
4,900,000 rix dollars. The Duke himself re- 
ceived the Duchy of Franconia, and the two 
bishoprics of Bamberg and Wurzburg, though 



the title which he coveted of Generalissimo of the 
Forces was sternly denied him, and given to Horn. 
All this soon found its natural result in the 
disaster of Nordlingen, September 6th, 1634 ; the 
Swedes were defeated with the loss of 6000 men, 
and Horn taken prisoner. The consequences 
were well nigh fatal ; Oxenstiern passed his 
second sleepless night, and even began to doubt 
whether Sweden had not taken upon itself too 
heavy a burden ; Saxony speedily concluded a 
separate peace, at Prague (by which the Elector 
gained Lusatia) ; to this peace almost all the 
Protestant States, except the noble little Hesse, 
came over. The Swedish Government was terribly 
disheartened ; the truce with Poland was drawing 
near its term, and apprehensions were entertained 
from the quarter of Denmark. The finances of 
the State were in a desperate condition. The 
clergy stubbornly refused to be taxed, though 
the nobles were more patriotic ; the country was 
exhausted by the length of the war and the hard 
times. King Ladislaus began to make the most 
extravagant demands ; he styled himself King 
of Sweden, completely ignoring Christina ; 
Charles I. even promised him assistance should 
he proceed to arms. Under all these circum- 
stances, a truce was concluded with Poland at 
Stumsdorf for twenty-six years, at the sacrifice of 
Prussia, on September 2, 1635. It went to the 


heart of the Chancellor to see all that his master 
had gained, at so great a cost, the result of years 
of warfare, annihilated by a stroke of the pen. 

The league of Heilbronn now " threw itself into 
the arms " of France ; Bernard of Weimar bound 
himself to French interests, hoping thereby to 
promote his own. The opportunity was one for 
which Kichelieu had been waiting ; without delay 
he sought to use it in gaining the provinces 
on the Rhine. Oxenstiern met the Cardinal at 
Compiegne, and arranged a treaty in April, 1635, 
by which the French were to have Alsace, and 
/ ubsidize the Swedes. 

This marked, however, the lowest point which 
the Swedish misfortunes were to reach. Irritated 
by the arrogant pretensions of the King of 
Poland, and the selfishness of the Elector of 
Saxony, the Swedes decided, in the Diet of 1635, 
to have nothing to do with the peace of Prague ; 
their renewed resolution, led by the genius of 
John Baner, once more regained them their lost 
reputation. Baner had been named by Gustavus 
Adolphus as the man most capable of supplying 
his place, should anything befall himself; but 
till the present moment he had been laid up by 
a wound received at Nuremberg. He now came 
forward to prove that he resembled Gustavus not 
merely in personal appearance. After quelling 
with prompt energy a mutiny at Magdeburg, he 

D 2 


overran Saxony, giving the country of the 
perfidious Elector to the flames; and gave the 
decisive turn to his operations by completely 
defeating the allied Saxon and Imperial forces 
at Wittstock (September, 1636). By this victory 
the moral effects of Nordlingen were effaced. 

( 37 ) 


In July, 1633, the widowed queen returned to 
Stockholm with ^the body of Gustavus. It was 
her nature to rush into extremes, and she showed 
her grief for his loss to an excessive degree. She 
had his heart enclosed in a gold box, which she 
kept by her bedside, and visited every day with 
mourning and lamentation. Though the bigotry 
of the Senate and the clergy afterwards compelled 
her to place this box in his coffin with his body, 
she found other ways of commemorating his 
death; she instituted an Order, with a badge 
in the shape of a heart, on which was engraven 
a coffin with the letters G. A. R. S. (Gustavus 
Adoljphus Bex Succise), and a Latin motto, to this 
effect, " In death I conquer." 

New complications between her and the 
Regents soon ensued. As has been related, 
Gustavus Adolphus had left particular directions 
that the queen-mother was not to have any part 
in the education or up-bringing of her daughter. 
But whenever the Regents tried to approach the 
subject, Maria Eleanora burst into such a storm 
of sobbing and crying, that they had to abandon 


the attempt. They accordingly determined to 
wait till the Chancellor returned from Germany. 
He did so in 1636, and it was then decided, 
though not without considerable discussion, to 
remove Christina from her superintendence, and 
entrust her to the Princess Catharine, her aunt. 
This may seem harsh on the part of the Kegents, 
yet it would certainly have been a bad thing for 
Christina to have remained with her mother. 
The gloomy effect of her room, hung with black 
from ceiling to floor, into which no light was ever 
allowed to penetrate ; the wax tapers always 
burning, and the unceasing wailings of the 
queen began to work seriously on Christina's 
spirits ; not that there was now any want of 
affection for her ; on the contrary, the death of 
Gustavus had changed her mother's aversion into 
immoderate affection. "By dint of loving me 
she drove me to despair," writes Christina ; 
" she said I was the living image of my father, 
and would never let me out of her sight ; " 
hardly would she let her go on with her 
studies, and more than this, " she began to find 
fault with the education I had hitherto received, 
and had several quarrels with the Kegents on 
that point." Though they might have over- 
looked much else, the Kegents felt this was 
going too far ; and accordingly in 1636 Christina 
was removed from the charge of her mother. 


This last and worst affront brought the quarrel 
between Maria Eleanora and the Regents to a 
climax : at all times hostile to the Swedes, whom 
she abhorred, and especially to the Regents, 
whom she was perpetually bothering for money, 
at a time when the financial condition of the State 
made such appeals particularly obnoxious, she 
now openly broke with them and retired to 
Gripsholm in Sudermania in disgust. We shall 
see further on how her conduct was the immediate 
occasion of the war with Denmark. Christina 
returned to the house of Princess Catharine, 
with whom she remained till her death in 

The important matter of the education of their 
young queen was considered by the nobles and 
clergy in a document drawn up in the diet of 
1635. In this they recommend that, in yiew of 
the fact that she is one day to reign over them, she 
shall be brought up in a careful understanding 
of the reciprocal duties and relations between 
herself and her subjects ; that she shall be 
instructed in the manners and customs of other 
nations, but more particularly those of Sweden ; 
to this end great care is to be used in the selec- 
tion of her tutors, who are to pay special attention 
to the formation of her character and morals ; 
above all she is to be well grounded in the 
articles of her faith and the Christian virtues; 


the art of government, and, as the groundwork 
thereof, history, especially that of the Bible, are 
to be carefully studied, as well as foreign 
languages, mathematics, and other branches of 
learning ; great caution is to be used that she be 
not imbued by the reading of improper books, or 
the hearing of improper conversation, with the 
opposite errors of Popery or Calvinism. 

Her tutors have already been described ; they 
began her education as soon as they were 
appointed in 1631, with the exception of Matthise, 
who was away till 1633. 

There is still preserved a little statement 
written by her in Latin when she was ten, 
and entitled " Obligatory Letter." It runs as 
follows : — 

" We, the undersigned, promise and bind our- 
selves by this one bond that in future we will 
speak Latin with our tutor. We promised before, 
but did not keep our promise. Henceforth, with 
God's help, we will do what we promise. Next 
Monday, God willing, we will begin this our 
task. For future certainty we have written this 
letter with our own hand and signed it. 

" Cheistina. 

" Given at Stockholm, October 28, 1636." 
The king had enjoined them to give her the 


education of a man. "He declared very posi- 
tively lie would not have them instil any 
feminine sentiments into me, except those of 
honour and virtue ; in all other respects he 
would have me a prince, and instructed in all 
that a young prince ought to know : in this my 
inclinations marvellously seconded his designs, 
for I had an invincible antipathy to all that 
women do or say. I was utterly unable to learn 
their handiwork : never could any one teach me 
anything of it. To make up for this I learned 
with marvellous facility all the tongues, sciences, 
and exercises they would teach me. These I 
knew at fourteen ; since which time I have 
learned many others without a master ; certain it 
is I never had a master either for German, French, 
Italian, Spanish, or my own native Swedish. It 
was the same with physical exercises. I learned 
to dance and ride ; I know, besides, however, all 
other exercises, and can use arms well enough, 
though I was never taught their manage- 
ment. ... I was further indefatigable. I often 
lay without grumbling on the hard ground. I 
ate little, and slept less. I went often two or 
three days without drinking, as they would not 
give me water, and I had an invincible repug- 
nance to beer or wine. My mother whipped me 
one day when she caught me secretly drinking 
the dew water in which she used to wash her 


face : as to eating, all was indifferent to me, 
except ham or pork, whicli I could never touch. 
I could endure heat and cold, walk long distances 
on foot, ride without getting tired ; the life I led 
was extraordinary, but, though they did what 
they could to prevent it, they had to let me have 
my own way. I was passionately fond of study, 
but no less of hunting, running, or sport. I 
loved dogs and horses, yet all this never drew 
me away from my studies for a moment ; the men 
and women who attended me were tired out. I 
gave them no rest, night or day ; if they 
attempted to turn me from so wearisome a method 
of life, I would say, ' Away ! go and sleep, I have 
no use for you.' Though I loved hunting, I 
was not cruel ; I never killed an animal without 
feeling pity for it." 

With Matthiae, her tutor, she applied herself 
eagerly to her studies ; she read with him 
Justinus, Livy, Curtius, Sallust, Terence ; and 
combined the study of languages with a special 
attention to the political and moral lessons con- 
veyed. A very rapid advance in learning was 
not attended in her case with any want of judg- 
ment, for which two instances may suffice. We 
have a quantity of letters written by her at 
this time in Latin. In 1639, referring to the 
eagerness which the various parties showed in 
Germany to gain possession of Brisach, left 


ownerless by the death of Bernard of Weimar, she 
writes to her uncle : — 

'' Most sekene and illusteious Pkince, and 
DEAE Cousin, — I received from your lovingness 
two letters yesterday, to which I think it worth 
while to send an answer. I understand from ordi- 
nary letters that the Count Palatine is to take 
Weimar's army (an excellent plan). Mr. Trea- 
surer wrote to me yesterday, and told me amongst 
other things this — in a word, that Brisach has 
many lovers. Kings and princes are quite mad 
for love of her ; the King of England wants her 
to be set aside not for himself, but his nephews 
the late Frederic's sons, and to that end has 
handed over large sums to the officers of Weimar's 
army. The French king is promising them 
likewise mountains of gold, provided they give 
him Brisach, who like a bride has lured them all 
on to love her, so that it is doubtful which of all 
these rival princes will enjoy the nuptial couch. 
I couldn't refrain from letting your lovingness 
know this, to let you see how fond they all are 
of that city." 

A strange letter from a girl of thirteen ! 

In another she tells him in a postscript : 
"Mistress Beata Oxenstiern and her daughter 
have just arrived, quo plures, eo jpejus,^^ 

She spent six hours in the morning and six in 


the evening at her studies, taking holidays on 
Saturdays and festivals. With this application 
it is no wonder she made progress. From time 
to time two senators examined her. Before she 
was eighteen she could read Thucydides, Poly- 
bius,* and Tacitus with ease in Latin. After the 
Chancellor returned from Germany he used to 
pass three or four hours every day with her, 
instructing her "in her duty." " 'Twas from 
him that I learned whatever I know of the art 
of government. I took extreme pleasure in 
listening to him ; there was not a study, game, or 
diversion of any kind I would not gladly quit to 
come to him. He on his part took great pleasure 
in instructing me, and if I may say so, this great 
man had often occasion to wonder at the talents 
and capacity of such a child as me." 

Under such conditions as these, the precocious 
intellect of Christina, "a tender plant in a 
moral hothouse," speedily developed. Gradually 
as the Kegents began to discern her astonishing 
aptitude and predisposition for politics, they 
admitted her to a closer familiarity with State 
affairs. In May, 1643, Oxenstiern introduced her 
to the Senate with a speech; since then she 
attended regularly at all its meetings, and 

* She did not read Greek at this time, though it is often 
stated in her biographies that she did : she learned it later, 
when she knew Vossius. 


immediately showed, girl as she was, that in 
administrative capacity she was inferior to none 
of them, not even the veteran Chancellor him- 
self ; that she was moreover fully conscious of her 
own powers, and determined to be Queen not 
only in name but in fact. Circumstances soon 
afforded her an opportunity of proving her tact 
and independent judgment. 

These are well illustrated in two letters she 
wrote to her uncle the Prince Palatine, in 1641, 
when she was fifteen, expressing her concern for 
the death of Baner. In the first she says : — 

" I cannot keep your lovingness in igno- 
rance of the sad news lately arrived, that 
Baner is dangerously ill, and in all human 
probability will die .... People here don't 
bother much about it; they suppose they can easily 
get somebody else, but such men are not shaken 
out of one's sleeve. If Baner dies, all will go ill 
there. Salvius is eager for peace, but that is 
not what the C ■ has at heart." 

And again, a few days afterwards, she writes that 
the King of Denmark has sent a ship to fetch her 
mother away, though the news is not quite 
certain ; the officers of the army have written 
for a sum of money, which unless they get, they 
will take their departure; demanding in addi- 
tion that the general appointed in place of 
Baner shall not, like him, take his own counsel, 



but command according to the advice of all ; she 
hears that the French are trying to debauch the 
Swedish army, "a thing easy enough." 

In order to explain the allusions in these 
letters it is necessary to take up the history of 
the war in Germany which we left at the victory 
of Wittstock. In the interval, Bauer's genius 
had regained for Sweden all the prestige lost at 
Nordlingen, and established his claim to be 
considered one of the first generals of the age. 
We have seen the allusions of Christina to the 
struggle for Brisach ; this place, reputed impreg- 
nable, had been seized by Bernard of Weimar, 
entirely to the satisfaction of France, in whose 
interests he was acting. It was the design of the 
Duke to establish himself as an independent chief 
in Germany, after the fashion of Wallenstein ; he 
had even began to negotiate his marriage with 
the Princess of Hesse, the celebrated Amalia 
Elizabeth, when he suddenly died, in 1639. 
This left the Imperialist forces opposed to him 
free to join those engaged with Baner; and 
France seized the opportunity to gain possession 
of Brisach, and take Bernard's army into her pay. 

The difficulty Baner found in conducting a 
campaign with vastly inferior forces was increased 
by the want of money and his own ill health. 
Owing to the state of the finances, Oxenstiern had 
to write to him that the war must pay itself ; 


nor could the Government listen to his repeated 
demands for furlough. " Baner on a sick-bed is 
worth more than any other man on horseback ; " 
" Sweden requires John Bauer's services, and 
John Baner must serve." We cannot enter into 
the details of his operations, but at his death, in 
1641, Christina's forebodings only proved too well 
grounded. Just as after Lutzen, so after the death 
of the " second Gustavus " at Halberstadt, the 
Swedish cause seemed falling to pieces ; mutiny 
again arose in the army ; the officers refused to 
obey a Swedish general any longer, and sent home 
a deputation with their demands ; some even 
began to treat with the enemy. The distress 
was terrible ; troopers and soldiers bartered their 
horses and accoutrements for provisions. The 
desperate condition of affairs is well shown in an 
extract from a letter written by General Wrangel 
to his son : " Mind that ye lay hands upon some- 
what, as the rest do ; he that takes it has it." 

It seemed, indeed, as if at this moment nothing 
could save the cause. But it was the fortune of 
Sweden to possess in this hour of need yet another 
general trained in the school of Gustavus Adol- 
phus ; she found in Leonard Torstenson a man 
worthy to redeem the loss of Baner ; " his equal 
in genius, his superior in energy : mastering by 
the greatness of his soul a body wasted by cap- 
tivity and disease." The extraordinary pace at 


which he flew about from place to place, even 
when unable from sickness to mount a horse, 
gained him among the soldiers the nickname 
of " Blixten," " the Lightning." Arriving from 
Sweden in the autumn with fresh troops and 
money, he infused a new spirit into the army, 
and, though so ill that at times he had to be 
carried in a litter, succeeded in closing a brilliant 
campaign with the decisive victory of Leipzic 
(October 23, 1642). 

By a series of complications now to be related, 
the war was transferred to a new scene. 

Since her exclusion from all share in the 
government or education of Christina, Maria 
Eleanora had continued to reside at her castle of 
Gripsholm, on the Lake Malar, in Sudermania. 
For some time she had been secretly nego- 
tiating with Denmark to make her escape from 
the country. All preparations being at length 
completed, she prepared to carry her design into 
execution on July 29, 1640. Dismissing her 
attendants on pretence of keeping a fast, she 
descended in the night into her garden, crossed 
the lake, and posted to Norkoping ; thence being 
transported in a Danish ship to the isle of Goth- 
land, she found two Danish men-of-war waiting to 
receive her, in one of which she was conveyed to 
Denmark, and proceeded subsequently to her 
native country, Brandenburg. 


It seems impossible to discern how far the 
queen-mother or the Swedes were to blame for 
the hatred they entertained for one another ; she 
was certainly harshly treated, and it has even 
been hinted that the Chancellor was instru- 
mental in compelling her to fly from Sweden ; it 
has further been asserted, with little probability, 
that the ancient King of Denmark had motives 
of a very tender character to induce him to lend 
her aid. In any case, her flight to the country, 
and by the aid, of their hereditary enemy, roused 
very sore feelings in the Swedish people. 
Though her flight has been most erroneously 
termed the cause of the war which followed, it 
was certainly one of the primary occasions of it. 
The cause lay deeper. The jealous national 
hatred of Denmark had recently been violently 
excited, not only by the action of that country 
with respect to the Sound dues, which Christian 
IV., in 1639, when the Swedish prestige was low,. 
had raised, but also by the attempts of that 
monarch to constitute Denmark a mediator in 
the peace negotiations, behind which pretext he 
was suspected of concealing dangerous machina- 
tions. On the bad feeling thus created the 
circumstances of the Queen-mother's flight fell 
like a spark. Sharp recriminations passed on 
both sides ; but a war with Denmark now appear- 
ing inevitable, and being moreover thoroughly 



popular, and the Dutch further urging Sweden 
to fight, the Eegents determined to forestall the 
enemy in commencing hostilities. Accordingly, 
without any distinct declaration of war, secret 
orders were sent to Torstenson to invade Holstein ; 
(these w^ere to be disavowed by the Government 
should any accommodation be arrived at in the 

In 1643, Torstenson, after succeeding in throw- 
ing Gallas off his guard by feigned proposals for 
an armistice, hastily burst into Holstein, defeated 
the Danes at liolding, occupied Jutland up to 
the Skaw, and threatened Fyen; at the same 
time Horn entered Scania with twenty thousand 
men, and made himself master of Helsingborg, 
Lund, Christianstad, and the isle of Bornholm. 

On the sea, however, fortune was not at first 
on the side of the Swedes ; De Geer's thirty ships, 
manned by Dutch volunteers, were unsuccessful 
against the Danes, commanded by Christian 
himself. In the great sea fight next year, on 
July 6, which was four times renewed, both sides 
claimed the victory : the old king of sixty-eight 
years fought like Hector, and was badly wounded, 
as well as having his eye knocked out. On the 
Swedish side, the High Admiral Klas Flemming 
was killed in his cabin, three weeks later, by a 
spent ball. But, in spite of his tremendous per- 
sonal efforts. Christian was unsupported by his 


factious aristocracy, and taken entirely unpre- 
pared; Ms allies failed liim; the attempts of 
Gallas to create a diversion in his favour were 
foiled by Torstenson. In the sea fight of October 
13, 1644, the Swedes and Dutch combined ob- 
tained a decisive victory: their prestige was 
moreover increased by the recent victory of Tors- 
tenson at Jankowitz, and the taking of Bremen 
by Konigsmarck. Denmark had no choice left : 
Oxenstiern came to Bromsebro to negotiate a 
peace, under the mediation of France, through its 
ambassador, de la Thuillerie. 

The Chancellor, whose diplomacy was always 
more coloured with national prejudice than that of 
a statesman ought to be, was personally inclined 
to press hard terms upon the vanquished ; he 
bore a grudge against the Danes, and would have 
been supported in this policy both by Senate and 
people. But the young Queen thought very 
differently. She felt esteem for the heroic old 
King, and was unwilling to press a fallen enemy 
too hard ; she foresaw, too, that fortune might at 
any moment take a turn in Germany, and that 
the other interested Powers might side with the 
Danes, in their fear of Sweden gaining too great a 
preponderance on the Baltic. She was unquestion- 
ably right, and showed in this preliminary peace 
how much more tact she possessed than the Chan- 
cellor, as she was to show it on a larger scale in 

E 2 


the peace of Westphalia. The letters which she 
wrote him at this moment ^Yill not easily be 
paralleled among those of statesmen of nineteen. 
On April 12 she writes that she is well aware 
of the clifiiculties, and of the necessity of ob- 
taining good guarantees ; still the moment seems 
to have arrived for pushing things to their 
conclusion ; " we mnst be careful not to let slip 
the opportunity, and so leave posterity reason 
to complain. Perhaps it would be as well not to 
hasten the treaty too much, just at present, so as 
to be able to dispute over the guarantees, and so 
gain our ends." Oxenstiern on his part was in 
no degree inclined to let slip, by wax and paper, 
what had been won by arms. Christina writes 
again, on the 20th June, " I agree with you, we 
ought to demand Holland and Blekingen, and 
certainly insist on good security, without which 
we must not even think of peace ; but amongst 
other reasons, which have made me recommend 
you to descend some steps in your demands, this 
is not the least, that most of the Senate are of 
quite a different opinion from you or me. . . . 
Should the affair come off unsatisfactorily, peoj)le 
will say the whole thing was begun by certain 
unquiet heads, and continued by my own and 
certain other's ambition ; my youth will be sub- 
jected to this calumny, that it was not capable of 
taking good counsel, but that, transported with 


ambition of empire, it has led me into mistakes ; 
my fate is such that if I do anything carefully 
and after ripe thought, others will reap the honour. 
Should, on the contrary, anything be neglected, 
which others should have looked to, the blame 
will be mine." She bewails the loss of time, but 
hopes for better progress when the fleet has 
arrived. On the 24th, however, she writes more 
decisively. ..." I see further so many diffi- 
culties in carrying on the war, that I fear we 
shall have much trouble in attempting so great 
a task with means so small : and that it would 
be [leaving too much to chance to refuse the 
conditions offered. We must recollect that, in 
case peace should be broken off, every one at 
home or abroad will lay it to the charge of our 
unmeasured ambition, based on injustice, and 
with the sole object of empire. And as I don't 
rely too much on the co-operation of the Dutch, 
I fear lest, if the proposed conditions are not 
accepted, they may try to become arbitrators, so 
that their jealousy may cause them to attempt 
something untoward ; not to mention what the 
Poles might do. In short, we must make it 
plain before God and all the world that we 
applied ourselves to all reasonable means for 
obtaining peace." 

The peace was finally concluded on August 13, 
1645. By it Sweden obtained complete freedom 


from tolls on the Sound and the Belts ; the 
provinces of Jemteland and Hartjedale, with the 
islands of Gothland and CEsel ; Halland she was 
to hold for thirty years, after which time she was 
to keep it unless some equivalent territory 
was given her in exchange : she also retained 
Bremen, which had been taken by Konigsmarck 
from King Christian's son. 

On his return, Christina rewarded Oxenstiern 
by conferring on him the title of Count, then the 
highest dignity in Sweden, and endowing him 
with the territory of Sodermoere in Smaland. 
The flattering speech which she addressed to him 
in the senate added to his honour, inasmuch as 
it not only awarded him high praise, but proved 
by the admiration it extorted even from himself, 
that the commendation came from one capable of 

For the sake of continuity, the war with 
Denmark has been related up to its close, in 
1645 : meanwhile Christina had come of age, 
and assumed the direction of affairs. On her 
eighteenth birthday,* December 8, 1644, the 
Estates were convened at Stockholm. The cere- 
mony took place in the Great Hall. Christina 
sat on a silver throne, surrounded by the chief 
men in the State. After promising to maintain 

* Or perhaps the day before ; the date is not certain. 


the national religion, and the ceremonies of the 
Church and the Senate, and to observe every 
man's privileges and the Form of Government 
agreed to by the Estates, she took the oath as King 
of Sweden — being the first of her sex to sit on the 
Swedish throne ; a precedent followed in 1719 
in the case of Ulrica Eleanora. The Kegents 
presented an account of their administration, 
wherein, after recounting the difficulties of their 
position, they alluded among other matters to 
the alienation of the Crown lands, as forced upon 
them by the necessities of State. The nobles 
also pressed her for a confirmation of their 
variojis privileges and exemptions from taxation. 
The Queen gave her assent and ratification to 
all their demands. The full consideration of the 
Form of Government, " seeing that by reason 
of the many pressing embarrassments we have 
not leisure to examine it accurately," was post- 
poned till her coronation. 

The internal affairs of Sweden were at this 
moment in a very dangerous condition. The 
minority of the Queen, and the eternal war, from 
which only the nobles derived benefit, aided by 
the aristocratical tendency of the constitution, 
had placed all the power in their hands. They 
used their privileges and all the means in their 
power to grind down the lower orders with the 
most oppressive exactions. The peasantry, on 


their side, worn out by the taxes and conscrip- 
tions, and completely powerless, in a country 
where land was still the chief source of wealth, 
were ripe for revolution. The State was divided 
into two hostile nations. Among the chief 
causes of complaint against the Government was 
the alienation of crown lands. The action of 
Christina in giving her confirmation to all the 
demands of the nobles, destroyed the last hope of 
the democratic party, always ready to put their 
faith in the king ; serious disturbances were 
at hand, had not the attention of the country 
been diverted for the moment by the recent 
victories to foreign politics. AVe shall go more 
fully into the whole question further on : for the 
present it is to be observed, that however ready 
Christina might have been at the moment of 
her accession to the throne to play the Patriot 
Queen, it was morally impossible for her at 
eighteen, surrounded by the members of the 
oligarchy, among whom she had been brought up, 
to have broken through educational trammels 
and made enemies of all her friends by espousing 
the cause of the people to the extent required. 
But on the other hand, in the history of the 
ten years that follow, up to her abdication in 
1(354 — years marked by an extraordinary dili- 
gence and activity on her own part, and the most 
striking contrast between the brilliant glitter of 


tlie court and foreign relations, and the dull 
background of domestic discontent — we shall find 
that Christina showed in this exact respect the 
one great want and blot on her character as a 
statesman and lover of her country. Neither her 
own character nor the necessary circumstances 
allowed her to enact the part afterwards played 
by Charles XI. 

But if in this point of her domestic policy, 
Christina, like many another great man, was to 
seek, it is quite otherwise with her foreign policy, 
for which she deserves a great deal more praise 
than she has ever received. Nowhere has the 
share she took in promoting the peace of West- 
phalia been adequately recognised. To this we 
must now turn, postponing the consideration of 
the domestic difficulties till the end of the war, 
after which the internal troubles were free to 
come to the front. 

Relieved, by the peace of Bromsebro, from 
obstacles in the quarter of Denmark, Sweden was 
now able to devote all her energies to the final 
settlement of the war in G-ermany, to which the 
Danish war was related as a fragment to the whole. 

For a time, indeed, it seemed as though the 
negotiations for peace were to be as eternal as 
the war itself, which was " pressing on the nations 
involved in it with the weight of an inevitable 
necessity." Years had been passed in fruitless 


haggling over preliminaries, and when at length 
the congress was finally determined upon in 1641, 
other years flew by in sterile disputes about 
questions of precedence and futile formalities. At 
length, in 1644, it did actually assemble, the 
Gordian knot of the difficulties being cut by 
the arrangement that Sweden should send her 
plenipotentiaries to Osnaburgh, and France hers 
to Munster, preliminaries being carried on under 
the mediation of Venice and the Pope. But it 
was not till 1645, after the victorious campaigns 
of Torstenson and Conde, that there was any 
serious effort towards the actual furtherance of 
peace. That it was finally brought to a success- 
ful issue, when it was, is to a great extent due to 
the personal energy of Christina. 

To this end she laboured with all her heart 
and soul. The reasons that determined her were 
many, both political and personal. She tho- 
roughly understood the terrible evils of the most 
appalling war which has ever been waged, which 
is saying a great deal ; and longed with a large- 
hearted humanity to deliver Germany from the 
ghastly vampire that was draining her blood not 
slowly, but in gulps. She saw, moreover, how 
her own people were being ruined chiefly by the 
burdens and conscriptions necessarily entailed 
upon them, as well as by the increasing power of 
the nobles, who flourished by the national decay, 


were the only gainers by the war, and wished to 
continue it, on behalf of their country's glory 
and their own interests, at the expense of the 
State. Though she well foresaw the troubles 
that would at once start into dangerous promin- 
ence the moment peace was concluded, she did 
not shrink from them ; moreover, at any moment 
Fortune might desert them again, as she had so 
often done in the course of the war, rich in 
instances of the see-saw of victory and defeat ; 
then would all the advantag^es fi:ained at the 
expense of so much blood and toil and treasure 
be lost. The troubles of the Fronde were looming 
on the horizon in France, and that cloud looked 
then more dangerous than it afterwards proved. 

" Now or never," she exclaimed, " is the time." 
But to these motives were added others of a per- 
sonal nature. She longed to signalise her reign 
by other glories than those of war : visions of a 
brilliant and intellectual court in which she 
should move as the central luminary, dispenser 
of benefits, and patron of the arts and sciences, 
floated before her. She had only just mounted 
the throne, and fired by ambition and the con- 
sciousness of great abilities, longed to be supreme 
not only in title, but in fact. All this could 
only come to pass by putting an end to the war ; 
for as long as it continued, the Eurojpean fame of 
the Chancellor, to whom all the credit for what- 


ever happened in Sweden would be ascribed, 
would throw her, young, and a woman, com- 
pletely into the shade. 

In order then to gain strength to work her 
will, Christina found it necessary to form a party 
to balance the influence of that of the Chancellor. 
The situation is sketched in the words of the 
French ambassador, Chanut : " All the ministers 
were so much on their guard that one could draw 
from them nothing but conjectures as to the 
present state of the Court, which was as it were 
divided ; on one side the Queen, the house of the 
Constable de la Gardie, the Palatine Princes (i.e. 
Charles and Adolphus), and Marshal Torstenson ; 
on the other the Chancellor Oxenstiern, Marshal 
Horn, General Wrangel, and all those of the 
Senate who looked upon the Princes and the 
Constable as strangers. This latter party was 
less disposed to peace than that of the Queen." 

We have already had hints of Christina's grow- 
ing distrust of the Chancellor ; she now became 
more definitely antagonistic to him. This rested 
on various grounds. Not only, as stated above, did 
his established position stand in the way of her 
fame, but her sympathies and his were diametri- 
cally opposed. He belonged to the party of the 
nobles and the war ; not that he was, like many 
of them, and the generals, definitely opposed to 
peace; but he was lukewarm in its cause, lie 


had indeed a genuine love of Lis country, and 
its honour was his first consideration ; but just 
for this reason woukl his policy at this con- 
juncture haye been fatal to Sweden. Now in his 
old age he remained faithful to his traditions 
and the maxims of the old religious war era that 
was passing away, and found himself unable to 
remodel his views to suit the changing circum- 
stances of the time. It is impossible to say 
what might ultimately have become of Ger- 
many had the Swedish councils been dominated 
at this moment by the stubborn and unyielding 
patriotism of Oxenstiern. 

He belonged to a vanishing system : Christina 
to the new. In nothing was this difference more 
significant than in their attitude towards the 
French. The Chancellor, true to his traditions, 
looked upon France with distrust, and for this 
there was some reason. Up to the last years of 
the war, one main cause of the want of genuine 
success on the Protestant side had been the lack 
of hearty co-operation between the French and 
Swedish forces ; the French, directed by the 
calculating policy of Eichelieu and Mazarin, 
never threw themselves heartily into the struggle 
till the appearance of Conde and Turenne. Hence 
the Swedes regarded France with distrust, and 
this traditional attitude was now maintained by 
Oxenstiern. Christina, on the contrary, was 


strongly inclined to the French, both from policy 
and personal motives. With a truer instinct 
than the Chancellor, and the tact of a woman, 
she perceived that to gain her ends it was 
incumbent upon her to establish friendly 
relations between the two Powers. She was 
also drawn in that direction by her relations 
with several members of her court. The French 
resident in Sweden already mentioned, Pierre 
Chanut, a man of very unique ability and sterling 
worth, of whom more anon, had made a deep 
impression upon her, and enjoyed her confidence 
to a great extent. She had a great admiration 
for Conde and Turenne, and wrote them letters on 
more than one occasion, expressive of her regard. 

In order to promote the best relations between 
France and Sweden at this conjuncture of affairs, 
she determined to send as ambassador to the 
French court the man whom she delighted to 
honour. Count Magnus Gabriel de la Gardie. 

The contrast between this man and his pre- 
decessor in France is typical of the old and new 
style. The celebrated Grotius, author of the 
' de Jure Belli et Pacis,' after escaping from his 
imprisonment in his own country, had gone to 
France, and enjoyed for some time a pension from 
Cardinal Eichelieu ; for some reason or other 
this was suddenly withdrawn, and Grotius 
retired to Hamburg. This became known to 


Gustaviis Aclolplius, who admired Grotius im- 
mensely ; one of his aphorisms was umim esse 
Grotium ; he used to keep the ' de Jure Belli et 
Pacis ' under his pillow, though he was fond of 
saying that if Grotius was engaged in actual 
warfare, he would find that many of his fine 
theories would not admit of being carried into 
practice. He ordered Salvius, his minister at 
Hamburg, to engage Grotius in his service. 
The same year Gustavus died; but Oxenstiern 
here and elsewhere set himself to carry out his 
master's plan. He sent Grotius as ambassador 
to Paris : it is difficult to see why ; though we 
need scarcely suppose it true, as is asserted, 
that he did so on purpose to pique Eichelieu, 
who might certainly not care to see the man 
from whom he had withheld his pension return 
as ambassador. Whatever else he could do, 
Grotius was the last man to be an ambassador. 
From various stories told of him we can see 
that the stiff pride of the philosophical student, 
combined with his want of diplomacy, did not 
improve the relations between the two countries ; 
and though the breach between the cardinal and 
himself was subsequently mended,* Grotius still 
remained unsuited for his post. After Kichelieu's 

* Grotius' epigram on Eiclielieu is well known: "Chris- 
tianos j)rincipes mutuis armis exercuit : aulam liomun- 
cionibus implevit : lusit Europam" 


death lie was delicately recalled in 1645, and 
well treated by Christina, who purchased his 
library when he died, and sent a kind letter of 
condolence to his widow. His successor, Cerisante, 
" a man fitter for the theatre than great affairs," 
left his post of his own accord. Christina 
determined to replace him by De la Gardie. 

His father was Jacob de la Gardie (son of that 
emigre from Languedoc, who "formed Gustavus 
Adolphus for ten years in the wars of Denmark, 
Kussia, and Poland "), who had risen step by step 
to be Count, Senator, Marshal, High Steward, 
and one of the Eegents and Guardians of the 
Queen. His mother was the beautiful Ebba 
Brahe, who had refused to marry Gustavus him- 
self, then desperately in love with her, because 
she detected him in a liaison. Count Magnus 
combined the beauty of his mother with his 
father's French vivacity. He had just returned 
from travelling abroad, among other places in 
France, where he had made a great impression, 
and now commended himself by his intelligence 
and courtly graces to the young Queen. She 
took him into favour, made him Captain of the 
Guards, with a handsome pension, betrothed him 
to Marie Euphrosyne, daughter of the Palsgrave, 
and, both on his own account and hers, selected 
him in 1646 as exactly the man to send as ambas- 
sador to France. The avowed object of his mission 


was merely complimentary ; the secret object 
to establish friendly relations with the French. 

The embassy was unusually splendid (it cost 
100,000 rix dollars) ; three ships of war conveyed 
it to the French coast. Chanut wrote privately 
to say that the Count was likely to enjoy the 
Queen's favour to a greater extent than any one 
else; nothing could gratify her more than to 
give him a cordial reception. The hint was 
taken ; on his arrival Count Magnus was feted 
and caressed with balls, plays, and similar 
diversions; his character and brilliant suite, 
added to his glowing praise of Christina, created 
a great sensation, and the lively Parisians drew 
their own inferences. The gossip of Paris is 
reflected in the pages of Madame do Motteville : 
" He spoke of his queen in terms so passionate 
and respectful, that it was easy to suspect in him 
a feeling more tender than that which he owed 
her as a subject ; " then, alluding to his betrothal : 
" Some say that had she followed her own incli- 
nations, she would have taken him for herself." 
All this is indeed nothing but the scandal in 
which Paris delights ; but the Count succeeded 
in his object, of creating a favourable inclination 
towards the court of Sweden, and returned home 
the following year. His last relations with 
Christina were destined to be very different from 
his first. 



By means such as these did the Queen endeavour 
to pave the way towards peace, and form a party 
in opposition to the Chancellor. To the various 
motives determining her dislike of him must be 
added her close connection with the Palatine 
house, which the Oxenstiern party viewed with 
suspicion and dislike as a foreign element. 
Further reports had got about of an intended 
marriage between her and his son Eric — with 
how much truth we cannot determine. The 
Chancellor, however, wrote a long letter to his 
son, recommending him to still the disadvan- 
tageous rumour by marrying someone else. 

The course of the negotiations for peace still 
further widened the breach. The plenipoten- 
tiaries for Sweden were John Oxenstiern, son of 
the Chancellor, and Adler Salvius. The former, 
a stiff, pig-headed man, full of his own importance, 
yet distrusting his own capacity, and devoid of 
diplomatic skill, was a creature of his father's, 
and at daggers drawn with his partner, Salvius. 
The latter, his complete antithesis alike in char- 
acter and policy, was devoted to the Queen, who, 
with her usual keen insight into character, had 
recognised in him an instrument well suited to 
her ends. The son of a citizen of Strengnas, he 
had raised himself by his abilities to a high 
position under G-ustavus and Oxenstiern; his 
diplomatic talents and knowledge of the world 


were great, and he had a supple capacity of 
" working all men to the desired end," as Chris- 
tina describes it. 

Between the two delegates there was bitter 
hostility. The arrogance of Oxenstiern offended 
Salvius, who, relying on the support of the Queen, 
despised him, and set him at naught. Of this 
difference Christina was well aware and made 
use. John Oxenstiern was quite unable to cope 
with his delicate position, and knew this himself. 
He even endeavoured to shirk the duty altogether, 
pleading inability ; the old Chancellor's reply 
has become a proverb : " An nescis, mifiU, quantilld 
prudentid regitur orhis ? " And during the 
course of the proceedings he had repeatedly to 
reprove his son for his small-mindedness in 
attaching importance to little things, his want of 
tact in writing to the Queen, his impolitic loss of 
temper. The division in the Swedish camp was 
not unknown to the French. " The Swedish 
counsels are not so united as they are supposed 
to be," wrote the French ambassador ; " the split 
comes from above." The French plenipoten- 
tiaries were no better ; D'Avaux and Servien 
were at open enmity. The Due de Longueville 
had to be despatched to preserve concord between 
them. With this condition of affairs, the main 
business did not get along; peace was not the 
matter, but following and party. 

F 2 


Even without all these personal animosities it 
would have been no easy matter to adjust the 
difficult complications and rival claims of the 
various parties. The recent victories of Torstenson 
and Conde enabled the Swedes to take a high 
tone ; they demanded principally Pomerania, 
Camin, Wismar, Bremen, Verden, and Silesia, 
and twenty million thalers for the army. France 
required above all Alsace. But these demands 
were scouted. Brandenburgh refused to let 
Pomerania go ; the Emperor would not hear 
of giving up Alsace, and contented himself 
with trying to sow dissension among the rival 
claimants. Additional difficulty was caused by 
Bavaria. The Swedes hated Bavaria, even more 
than they hated the Emperor, and refused to 
allow its neutrality ; Mazarin, on the other hand, 
was not inclined to press Bavaria hard. The 
French were distrusted, as not acting for the 
general good, and in fact, were not zealous for 
the preponderance of Sweden in the north, or the 
Protestant interest. (In the instructions sent to 
the French delegates in 1646 we read : " The 
pretensions of the Swedes are exorbitant and cause 
the Queen great pain, because she sees that they 
tend to raise the Protestant party by lowering 
the Catholics " ; whereas Oxenstiern laid stress 
on the religious point of freedom for the Estates.) 
Further negotiations resulted in the ultimatum 


of the Swedes ; for Pomerania, Kiigen, Wollin, 
and Stettin, and some other places. 

Throughout the transactions, the Chancellor 
and his party were haughty and unyielding, 
hating and hated by the French. " With you, 
I see," wrote Oxenstiern to his son, " the treaty 
of peace slumbers, and is pursued with hardly 
any other mind than jpro forma.'" The Queen on 
the other hand, in the face of such obstacles, did 
not despair; aided by Chanut and Salvius she 
worked hard to make friends of the French, and 
bring matters to a conclusion. She corresponded 
personally with D'Avaux and Servien, Louis XIV. 
and his mother ; chiefly to her exertions was it 
due that France made common cause wit h 
Sweden against Bavaria, and supported her in 
her claims for satisfying the army. 

Her letters to Salvius during the period throw 
a strong light on her policy and character. In 
December, 1646, she writes : 

" I thank you for the trouble you take in con- 
ducting this great matter to a successful con- 
clusion, and your communication : I beg you not 
to grow weary, but continue in the zeal you have 
manifested till now in my service and that of 
the kingdom. In return I assure you that though 
many should attempt, perchance, to blacken you 
here, I will permit none of them to do you wron g 


in any respect ; on the contrary, should you by 
the grace of God return in good health and suc- 
cessful, I will let you know by solid results that 
I am and remain always disposed to favour you. 


February, 1647. — " I have received two letters 
from you which have pleased me greatly. I have 
not time to answer them as they deserve ; accord- 
ingly, I beg you to thank M. D'Avaux for the 
essential service he has done me, and make my 
very particular excuses to him for not being able 
to write to him to-day. I have so much to do 
just now, that^time is not sufficient for all my 
business. I hope he will never doubt my grati- 
tude. I will not fail to thank him by the first 
courier. As to the Treaty of Peace, I have 
declared to both of you my opinion and my 
determination. Push matters on as best you can. 
I expect to have plenty to attend to here, so 
much so that I shall thank God if I am able to 
obtain, by hook or by crook, a good peace. You 
know better than me, quam arduiim quamque 
suhjectum fortunse regendi cuncta onus ! Nothing 
more at present ; only this, please give me your 
advice as to whether I can, without prejudice to 
myself, gratify Count Magnus with Benfeld . . 
don't tell anyone about this, but let M. D'Avaux 
know it, svh fide silentii ; and don't say anything 
about it to the Graf Gustafson [i.e., Oxenstiern]. 


In another letter (without date) she begs him 
to see to a particular matter, also touched on in 
the first, the borrowing of a hundred thousand 
crowns by Count Magnus, which, in the present 
state of the finances and the army may be seized 
on by malicious persons eager " nova im^peria 
redder e odiosa " ; she wishes everyone to know it 
was done by her express command ; should 
Salvius perform his duties satisfactorily, there is 
no position in the State, however high, to which 
he may not aspire. 

4th Sept., 1647.—" I see that the Treaty is in 
the same condition as if it had stopped, and that 
everybody is waiting for the end, nevertheless I 
hope that on your side you will use your utmost 
diligence to conclude this long business, which 
may the Almighty graciously accord. ... I en- 
close a letter for M. Servien, send it to him as 
soon as possible : civility compels me to answer 
his letter, otherwise I should be the rudest person 
in the world, since he offers himself so cordially 
to my service, and speaks too much in my favour 
in his quarter ; thus it behoves me to assure him 
of my good will and keep up a good correspon- 
dence with him, for you must recollect he is a 
creature of the Cardinal. I know, too, the French 
ways, and that their manners consist chiefly in 
compliments ; but one loses nothing by being 


civil, and one pays them in their own coin. The 
compliments that they and others make me are 
pure flattery, I do not deserve such praises; 
nevertheless I find myself obliged to return their 
civilities in kind, therefore be courteous to him 
and others ; bear witness of my affection for the 
Queen, as well as for the Cardinal, for he it is 
that governs all, that is why you nmst /aire 
honne mine to his creatures. Please get me a 
copy of the enclosed, as I have none here." 

The peace, nevertheless, still dragged its weary 
length along. On 10th April, 1647, Christina 
sent the following final manifesto to the two 
colleagues, enclosing at the same time a private 
letter to Salvius, whereby it is obvious that the 
angry displeasure of the first was meant for John 
Oxenstiern alone. 

10th April, 1647.— " Gentlemen : I add these 
few words to my public despatch, to discover to 
you with my own hand the fear I entertain lest 
this treaty, so earnestly desired, and for whose 
happy conclusion we have till now had reason to 
hope, should be arrested by causes not yet suf- 
ficiently well known to me. Therefore, to let 
you perfectly understand my will, you must 
thoroughly persuade yourselves that before all 
things I desire a sure and honourable peace. And 
since the satisf actio coronse is already determined. 


and there remain only those of the soldiers and 
the gravamina of the Estates of the Empire, I will 
that you keep matters in good course till Erskein 
arrives and communicates to you his commission. 
Then without any further dawdling you must 
bring the negociations to a satisfactory conclusion 
by securing the best condition of the Estates, 
satisfaction of the Crown, and contentment of the 
soldiery that may be possible without breaking 
the peace — and no longer drag matters out as at 
present ; otherwise, you will have to look to it 
how you will answer it before God, the Estates of 
the realm and me. Let not the phantasies of 
ambitious men turn you from your goal, unless 
you wish to incur my extreme disgrace and dis- 
pleasure, and stand accountable to me blushing 
and blanching : you may be sure that in that 
case, no authority nor support of great houses 
shall hinder me from showing all the world the 
displeasure I feel at insensate procedure. I 
am convinced that if things go ill with the 
Treaty your errors will have placed me in a laby- 
rinth, whence neither you, nor the brains of those 
who foment such plans, will ever draw me. 
Therefore it behoves you to look well to your- 
selves," &c. 

The letter to Salvius alone was as follows : — 
" From all circumstances, I see how a certain 



person, not being able entirely to break the 
Treaty, seeks to put it off. ... I will let all the 

world see that the C cannot turn the 

whole world round his finger, sajpienti sat. . . . 
My letter herewith is addressed to both of you, 
give it immediately to G. J. 0. ; though I attack 
him and you equally in it, 'tis meant for him 
alone — let D'Avaux know the contents, that the 
French may not think ill of me, but see who is 
to blame. ... If by God's grace you come back 
here after the Peace, I will reward you Senatoria 
dignitate. You know it is in our coantry the 
highest honour to which an honest man can 
aspire — were there any higher gradus honoris I 
would not stick at conferring them upon you. 
But though that cannot be without drawing on 
you many envious persons, you can say with 
Marius in Sallust — * confemnnint novitatem meam, 
ego illorum ignaviam, mihi fortuna, illis prohra 
objectantur '. ... as to Count Gustafson, look to 
it well what you let him know — ' nee res magnse 
sustineri possimt oh eo, cui tacere grave est.' 

" P.S. — Mind you let me know what grimaces 
G. J. O. makes, on reading my letter to both 
of you." 

This letter deeply wounded the Oxenstierns. 
The Chancellor requested leave to retire from 
Sweden ; the Queen granted it immediately, but 


the remonstrances of the Senate, and the repre- 
sentations of Jacob de la Gardie, added to her 
own indulgent respect for her old master, changed 
her mind ; she begged him not to quit her ser- 
vice, and the wound was outwardly healed, though 
Oxenstiern's power and influence over her were 
gone for ever. On his part, John Oxenstiern 
wrote her two letters, giving vent to the deep 
mortification he felt at the slight put upon him, 
and his rancour against Salvius. For him, however, 
the Queen had no pity, and wrote shortly after- 
wards to Salvius, saying, "I enclose a copy of 
G. J. O.'s letter to me, you can judge thereby of 
his feelings to yourself. Do not be disconcerted, 
however, as I am more than pleased with you." 

Again on November 27, 1647, she writes, " The 

Ch r fait fort le sou]jle, sed quidquid id est timeo 

Danaos et dona ferentes. I observe every day in 
him what Tacitus says of Tiberius, 'yam Tiherium 
corpus, jam vires, nondum dissimulatio deserebat, sed 
dahit deus his qucque finemJ Yet far be it from 
me to wish him ill." 

At length in July, 1648, it seemed as if the peace 
was really at hand ; the Queen writes to Salvius : 

21st July, 1648. — **' I cannot express to you the 
joy your pleasant news gave me. . . . what I 
desire most of all and place above everything 
is to give peace to Christendon. When the 


instrumentum pacts is drawn up, you will bring it 
yourself. ... If God grants us peace I hope to 
compass all my desires, then we shall see some 
long faces here, and may say, victrix causa Deis 
placuif, sed victa Gatoni : a word to the wise." 

The campaign of Wrangel and Turenne in 
1648 put an end to the obstinacy of Maximilian of 
Bavaria, and the finishing impulse came from 
the capture of Little Prague by Konigsmarck, on 
July 31, whereby he took an enormous booty ; 
though all his efforts and those of Charles 
Gustavus, who had come to assist him to take 
the rest of the town, were unsuccessful. On the 
24th October, 1648, the Peace of Westphalia was 
actually signed ; though it was not till the Recess 
of Execution at Nuremberg, two years afterwards, 
that all the details were finally and definitely 

" Sweden received Hither Pomerania, including 
the island of Eiigen ; from Further Pomerania 
the island of Wollin and several cities, with their 
surroundings, among which were Stettin, as also 
the expectancy of Further Pomerania in case of 
the extinction of the House of Brandenburgh. 
Furthermore it received the city of Wismar in 
Mecklenburgh, and the Bishoprics of Bremen and 
Verden, with reservation of the rights and immu- 
nities of the city of Bremen. Sweden was to 


hold all the ceded territory as feudal tenures of 
the Empire, and be represented for them in the 
Imperial Diet. The Bavarian, Burgundian, and 
Austrian circles were to be released from contri- 
butions to make up the five millions to be paid to 
the Swedish army, for which only the seven other 
circles were to be responsible." 

In the settlement of the religious difiSculties, a 
compromise was arrived at. Full recognition was 
now given to Calvinism as well as Lutheranism. 
New Year's Day, 1624, was fixed as the limit, 
after which Catholics and Protestants were to 
hold whatever benefices they then possessed. In 
the Imperial Diet, the two opposing creeds were 
placed upon an equal footing. Thus the final 
blow was given to Imperial claims in Church or 
State, and a new system inaugurated, whereby 
for the already antiquated universal supremacy 
was substituted the balance of political power and 
the rights of individual nations. The Peace thus 
forms an epoch, a date dividing the old and 
new. This is of more importance to us now than 
the particular acquisitions of Sweden. But in 
this connection it is to be noted that the Baltic 
became, by these provisions, a sort of ''•Swedish 
inland lake ; " and 1648 marks the culminating 
point of Sweden's fame. Her position among the 
European states was, however, based on mere 
externals, and not justified by her intrinsic capa- 


bilities ; this, even more than the relative rising 
of her neighbours, such as Kussia and Prussia, 
is the explanation of her subsequent decline. 

The Queen kept her promise to Salvius ; she 
made him a senator, in spite of the keen opposi- 
tion of the nobility, always jealous of extending 
their privileges, and with additional reasons [to 
increase their dislike of this novus homo. But 
Christina overruled all their objections. " When 
it is a question of good advice and wise counsel," 
she said in the Senate, " we do not ask sixteen 
quarterings,- but what it is necessary to do. 
Salvius would no doubt be a capable man, if he 
was of good family." The new senator was in 
some apprehension of what his enemies might 
attempt against him ; he wrote to the Queen a 
long and very diplomatic letter of thanks, re- 
counting his services and explaining his fears. 
He came shortly after to Sweden, and was 
graciously received by the Queen, though he 
did not live long to enjoy his new honours, dying 
four years later. 

Christina was extravagantly delighted when 
at length the Peace was actually signed ; she 
gave the courier who brought the news to Sweden 
a gold chain, worth 600 ducats, and raised the 
secretary who brought the instrument to the 
nobility. Te Deums were sung in the churches, 
cannons fired, and public rejoicings held by her 


order. But the Chancellor and his war party 
were by no means so much pleased ; they had no 
such exact perception of the needs and exigencies 
of the time as the wise young Queen, and looked 
only to the fact that less gain had accrued to 
Sweden than in view of all her efforts they 
thought might and ought to have been the case. 
Most of the nobles even regretted the war for its 
own sake. Themselves first, Sweden next, and 
Germany to take care of itself was their policy : 
whereas Christina exactly reversed that order, 
and placed the wants of Germany and the 
Swedish people above everything else. When 
some expressed in her presence their opinion that 
the Peace would not be of long duration, she 
replied, "I know well that there can be no 
eternal peace in . this world ; but that same 
Providence which has brought freedom to 
Germany will watch over it to preserve it." 

By the clergy, again, it was not so well 
received ; it stank in their nostrils that Calvin- 
ism should be recognized, or any disposition 
shown to half measures with Catholicism. In 
the pulpits they preached against it ; one bigoted 
preacher exclaimed that the cause of Lutheranism 
had been deserted, and delivered an invective 
against the Catholics. Christina had him 
summoned before her, and rebuked him so 
sharply that the poor man lost his wits, and 


denied that he had ever uttered what had been 
heard by four thousand people. 

We must carefully remember these things 

when we listen to abuse of Christina ; it was just 

by such actions as these that her large mind and 

catholic toleration gained her the rancorous 

abuse and hatred of pitiful religious and political 

sectarians who could not comprehend her. Nobles 

and Swedish Lutheran patriots bore her a grudge 

for the Peace of Westphalia. It is exactly in 

this reference that Christina showed a keener 

political insight than the Chancellor. " It was," 

says Geijer, " the beginning of a new order of 

things, which in its operation set him aside ; in 

this, more than in the weakness of age, lay the 

secret of his powerlessness ; his political life 

terminated with the Peace." From this moment 

he stands aside, and the Queen does everything 

by herself. " She did without him on several 

occasions," says Chanut, "consulting him only 

like the other ministers, without marking the 

wide distinction there was between his experience 

and that of her other advisers." 

And this is the moment at which she reaches 
her greatest elevation. To understand the 
benefits conferred on the world by the peace it is 
necessary to be familiar with the horrors of the 
Thirty Years' War. Fortunately this is not the 
place to dwell upon them ; yet something must 


be said to help us to realize the situation. It was 
no longer a war of man against man, but brute 
against brute. Human nature was disappearing, 
in every sense of the word. Military license, 
famine and cannibalism, plague and pestilence 
ruled over Germany ; the initial stages of rage 
and despair had long passed away, and only 
apathy remained to the miserable remnant of the 
population. A few more years, and this too would 
have vanished, and Germany have become a 
desert. " Almost all the country below Leipsic," 
wrote the Chancellor in 1643, " is a waste." 
" In the two armies," wrote Gronsfeld in 1648, 
" there were certainly more than 180,000 men, 
women, and children, who must all live as well 
as the soldiers ; provisions are distributed every 
twenty-four hours for 40,000 ; how the remaining 
140,000 are to live passes my comprehension, if 
they are not to pick up a bit of bread for them- 
selves ; there is not a single place where the 
soldiers if they have money can buy anything : 
I say this, not as approving exorbitancies, but to 
show that all was not done out of insolence, but 
much out of mere hunger." 

The imagination, brooding however deeply 
over that picture, will notwithstanding never 
be able to reach the appalling misery of the 
actual facts. What wonder that Germany 
took long to recover, and that her civilization 




was thrown back for a century. That a period 
was put to this desolation, she has to thank 
Christina more than any statesman of that age ; 
we shall not err in asserting that but for 
Christina the Peace might have been retarded 
indefinitely. But for her, the policy of the 
past, the policy of religious uncompromising 
antagonism and national antipathy, the policy 
of the war party and Oxenstiern, would 
have carried the day; Sweden and France 
would never have united, and the rest would 
have been chaos. The Peace of Westphalia, 
with all its consequences, even the existence of 
Germany as a nation, is entirely due to the 
unflagging energy and unwearied labour of 
Christina. And when we consider what was the 
strength of the opposition through which she 
carried it by the force of her genius and tenacity 
of her purpose, working, amidst a multitude of 
other business, from eighteen to twenty-two, 
harder than any under-secretary, to master all 
its minutest details, which she knew better than 
any paid official — never allowing herself to be 
absent from the Senate, even though frequently 
" suffering from fever, and obliged to be bled," 
till she had attained her end — we shall recognize 
that her claims to the admiration and gratitude 
of posterity are of quite another kind than those 
of many of its painted idols. 

( 83 ) 


Befoke turning to Christina's personal and 
domestic history, we must dismiss two foreign 
events which immediately concerned her. 

Immediately after the conclusion of peace, 
the Pope, Innocent X., published a Bull, dated 
November 26th, 1648, fulminating against the 
treaty, with special condemnation of the delivery 
of ecclesiastical benefices to heretics, and the 
increase in the number of electorates — an eighth 
having been created for Charles Lewis, son of 
Frederic V. Throughout this ill-advised instru- 
ment Christina was studiously ignored, reference 
being made only to Sweden and the Swedes. 
But the Bull only succeeded in making the 
Pope ridiculous : the Emperor refused to allow 
it to be published in his dominions ; and a special 
refutation was composed by Herman Conring, 
pointing out the folly of attempting, among other 
matters, to put this slight upon a monarch 
recognized by the Emperor and the other powers, 
and alluding with a satiric touch to the answer 
once made by Pius II. to the ambassador of 
Frederic III., that it was the custom of the Holy 
See to recognize as king the person who sat on the 
throne. He might have added with reference to 

G 2 


Christina that it was with her fame as with that 
of Brutus and Cassius in the funeral procession 
described by her favourite Tacitus : " Their lustre 
shone forth all the brighter, for that their images 
were not seen." 

Thus the Bull proved a complete fiasco ; the 
second affair was more important. Just before 
the negotiations terminated. King Ladislaus of 
Poland died. The news of his death was not un- 
welcome in Sweden, always in an embarrassing 
situation with regard to him. His arrogant 
claims and constant hostility had been a thorn in 
her side, nor did the dubious twenty-six years' 
truce of Stumsdorff, in 1635, set the Swedes at 
rest. Hence it became of great moment to 
endeavour to ensure the election of a king friendly 
to Swedish interests. Of the candidates, rumour 
assigned to the late king's brother-in-law, the 
Duke of Neuburg, the best chance of favour with 
the Poles. Of the two remaining sons of Sigis- 
mund, Charles Ferdinand was preferred in Sweden 
for his pacific disposition, while France on the 
other hand supported the claims of John Casimir, 
fearing the Austrian proclivities of his brother. 
The Emperor's candidate, Kagoczy, being a man 
of warlike disposition, was viewed by both powers 
with equal dislike. Christina was strongly deter- 
mined not to allow the Polish crown to pass 
out of the royal house, not only because neither 


of the brothers were likely to give Sweden any 
trouble, but also to avoid the possibility of their 
renewing their claims to the Swedish throne, 
should she die without heirs. Nevertheless 
it was dangerous to show decided preference 
for any candidate without ascertaining who was 
most popular in Poland ; since to do so might 
make a dangerous enemy of the king who should 
be actually elected. Under these circum- 
stances she despatched Canther, one of her secre- 
taries, into Poland — nominally to discuss the 
conditions of a peace ; principally however to try 
and discern the temper of the Poles, and the 
chances of success of the various candidates. It 
was reported that the party of Casimir was most 
likely to carry the day, and accordingly the Queen, 
who had written on the point to the Chancellor, and 
found that their opinions herein coincided, sent 
letters of recommendation to Poland on behalf of 
John Casimir, with orders not to present them 
without consulting the French ambassador, and 
unless the tide seemed to be setting in his favour ; 
otherwise they were to make use of similar letters 
on behalf of his brother. John Casimir was in 
short elected in December 1648. 

When Christina on this occasion asked Chanut 
whether the King of France, in writing to the 
late King of Poland, had not given him the title 
of King of Sweden, he answered no, not knowing. 


it is said, anything to the contrary. But it is 
certain that the French Court gaye him this title, 
and when the Court of Sweden complained, 
France replied that the title had been given to 
the King of Poland as in petitorio, to the King 
of Sweden as in jpossessorio, of the kingdom. 

Christina had by this time attained a wide 
renown, and the French, by reason of this and 
her readiness to conciliate their goodwill, no less 
than by the embassy of De la Gardie, and his 
glowing descriptions of his Queen, were eager to 
gain a more accurate knowledge of her. 

" To judge by the picture he gave us," says 
Mme. de Motteville, " she had neither the face 
nor the beauty nor the inclinations of her 
sex. Instead of making men die of love for her, 

she makes them die of shame and despair 

She has no need of ministers, for she herself, 
young as she is, manages all alone. . . . She 
afterwards caused the death of Descartes, by not 
approving his method of philosophising " (here, 
as not infrequently, Madame romances a little). 
" She wrote to the Queen, to Monsieur, uncle of 
the King, to the Due d'Enghien, and the ministers, 
letters which I have seen, and which were admired 
for the graceful humour of the thoughts, the 
beauty of the style, and the ease she showed 
herself to possess in handling our language, with 
which, as with many others, she was familiar. 


People attributed to her all the cardinal virtues, 
placing her on a level with the most illustrious 
women of antiquity. All pens were employed in 
her praise ; they said that the depths of science 
were for her what needle and distaff are for our 
sex. Fame," Madame aptly concludes, "is a 
great talker." 

To satisfy the curiosity of the French, Chanut 
drew up her character, and sent it home ; (her 
portrait, which they had asked for, Christina 
herseK, as soon as she knew of it, undertook to 
send them). We have already spoken of Chanut. 
Pierre Chanut was a man of no ordinary stamp. 
To judge by the accounts we have of him, he 
appears to have been not unlike David Hume. 
It was not only by his deep studies and varied 
accomplishments that he attracted the attention 
of Christina — though his travels in Italy, Spain, 
England and the North of Europe, his know- 
ledge, no superficial one, of Latin, Greek, and 
Hebrew (he could speak Italian, Spanish, English, 
Swedish), and his love of philosophy, in which he 
was a follower of Descartes — were well calculated 
to make an impression on her mind ; but his 
calm wisdom, and the simplicity of his cha- 
racter, gained her confidence in an extraordinary 
degree. Richelieu said he knew of three men 
of pre-eminent capacity in affairs, and named 
Chanut as the first. Seguier said of him that he 


had never known a man who had had more 
opportunities of making himself rich and power- 
ful, who yet preferred the reputation of a good 
servant ; if he had lived, said Oxenstiern, in 
ancient Greece or Kome, they would have erected 
a statue to him. He came to Sweden as French 
resident in 1644, and immediately exercised 
great influence on politics, through the Queen : 
we shall see in the sequel to what an extent she 
honoured him with her friendship. 

"The fine qualities of the Queen of Sweden 
made at that time so great a noise throughout 
Europe, that their majesties ordered M. Glianut 
to send them a portrait of her : but as this por- 
trait could make known only the exterior linea- 
ments of the body, he sent them in advance one 
which represented not only the beauties of the 
body, but also the finest qualities of her mind : 
but as curious people might remark therein 
various defects, not existing in the original, he 
said, to excuse himself, that he never took the 
liberty of looking fixedly or attentively at the 
beauty of this princess ; if, however, he might 
be permitted to trust to the report of another, he 
could assure them that the first time one looked 
at her one saw not in her so much to wonder at 
as if one considered her more at leisure ; he said 
that one portrait was not sufficient to paint her 
face, which was subject to such sudden changes. 


according to the various emotions of her soul, 
that it was not recognisable from one moment to 
another. Usually she appears somewhat pensive, 
yet passes easily and often to other expressions. 
Her face, whatever be the revolutions of her mind, 
yet retains always a certain agreeable serenity ; 
though certainly if, as but rarely happens, she 
disapproves of what is said to her, a sort of cloud 
may be seen to spread over her face, which 
without disfiguring her yet causes terror in 
those who see it. The tone of her voice is as 
a rule very soft, and however firmly she pro- 
nounces her words, they are clearly recognised 
as those of a girl : sometimes, however, yet with- 
out affectation or apparent cause, she changes 
this tone for one stronger and louder than that 
of her sex, which little by little sinks back to its 
ordinary pitch. She is rather below the average 
height, which would not have been obvious, had 
this princess been willing to make use of shoes 
such as ladies are wont to wear ; but, in order to 
be more at ease in her palace, or in walking or 
riding, she wears only shoes with a sole and little 
black heel similar to those of a man. 

" If we may judge of the inside by the external 
signs, she has lofty opinions of the Deity, and a 
sincere attachment to Christianity ; she does not 
approve, in ordinary scientific discourse, of leav- 
ing the doctrine of grace in order to philosophize 


after pagan fashion ; what is not in harmony 
with the Gospel she considers as pure dreaming. 
She shows no bitterness in disputing on the 
differences between the Evangelicals and the 
Eoman Catholics ; she seems to be less anxious 
to gain insight into these difficulties than into 
those presented to us by philosophers, Jews 
and Gentiles. Her devotion to God appears in 
the confidence which she manifests in His pro- 
tection, greater than in any other thing ; for the 
rest, she is not scrupulous, and does not affect an 
outwardly pious ceremonial. Nothing is more 
constantly in her mind than an incredible love 
for a lofty virtue, wherein lies all her joy and 
delight : to this she joins an extreme passion for 
glory, and, as far as we can judge, her desire is 
for virtue coupled with honour. Sometimes it 
pleases her to speak, like the Stoics, of that * plat- 
form of excellence' which constitutes our sove- 
reign good in this life ; she is marvellously strong 
on this subject, and when she is talking to persons 
with whom she is familiar, and begins to discuss 
the true estimate which we should make of the 
things of this world, it is delightful to see her 
putting the crown beneath her feet, and an- 
nouncing virtue as the only good, to which it 
behoves all men to apply themselves, without 
making capital of their rank ; but during this 
avowal she soon recollects she is a queen, and 

#, \ 


therefore again assumes the crown, of which she 
is sensible of the weight. She places the final 
step towards acquiring virtue in doing one's duty, 
and in fact she is largely endowed by nature 
with the qualities necessary to enable her to per- 
form her part worthily ; for she has a marvellous 
facility in understanding and seeing into affairs, 
and a memory which serves her so faithfully that it 
may be said she often abuses it. She speaks Latin, 
French, German, Flemish, Swedish, and is study- 
ing Greek ; she has savants by her who discourse 
with her in her idle moments of all the most 
curious details in the sciences ; her mind, greedy 
of knowing all things, seeks information on all. 
No day passes that she does not read in her 
history of Tacitus, which she calls her game at 
chess ; this author, who makes savants puzzle over 
him, she understands easily in his most difficult 
passages, and where the most learned pause, 
hesitating as to the meaning, she translates well 
in our tongue with extraordinary facility. Yet 
she avoids or at any rate does not study to seem 
learned or savante. She takes great pleasure in 
listening to the discussion of problematic ques- 
tions, especially by learned people of different 
opinions ; her own opinion she never gives till all 
have spoken, and then only in few words, the whole 
so well considered that it may pass for a formal 
and positive decision. . . . Her ministers, when 


slie is in council, can with difficulty discern to 
which side she leans ; she preserves the secret 
faithfully ; and as she never lets herself be pre- 
judiced by what people tell her, she seems mis- 
trustful, or difficult of persuasion, to those who 
gain access to her. . . . 'Tis true she is inclined 
to be suspicious, and sometimes she is a little too 
slow at seeing the truth, and too ready to infer 
finesse in others. . . . She asks no one's advice in 
her private affairs, but she deliberates in the 
Senate in all matters concerning the State. It 
is incredible how powerful she is in her council, 
for she adds to her position as Queen, grace, 
credit, benefits, and a power of persuasion, such 
that the senators themselves are often amazed at 
the influence she wields over their opinions, when 
they are assembled. Though some attribute this 
to the secret influence of her sex, yet to say truth 
this authority arises from her personal good 
qualities. A king of like virtue would be absolute 
in his senate ; in any case that would be less 
surprising than to see a girl turning as she will 
the minds of so many old and wise councillors. 
It is no wonder that she displays the prudence 
of a man in the Senate, seeing that in action 
Nature has refused her none of those qualities, 
of which a young cavalier would brag. She is 
indefatigable in field exercises, and will even 
when hunting be ten hours in the saddle. Cold 


and lieat are indifferent to her ; in eating she is 
simple, careless, and entirely without epicureanism. 
No one in Sweden knows better than her how to 
knock over a hare in its course with a single 
ball ; she can put a horse through all its 
paces, without pluming herself on it. She rarely 
speaks to the ladies of the court, since her exer- 
cises, or the cares of state which keep her, give 
no opportunity for conversation, and they do 
not even see her, except by way of a visit ; and 
then after the necessary civilities she leaves them 
in a corner of the room in order to go and con- 
verse with men. If she is with those from whom 
she thinks nothing is to be learned, she cuts down 
the conversation to the absolute minimum ; accor- 
dingly her servants say little to her — still they 
like her, since, however little she addresses them, 
it is always with sweetness, and she is a good 
mistress, liberal even beyond her means. Some- 
times she amuses herself by jesting with them, 
which she does with good grace and without 
bitterness, yet it might be better if she abstained 
[Christina adds in a note, — * Right ; raillery pro- 
cured me many enemies '] because this always 
leaves a suspicion in those who have been its 
objects that they are despised ; still business 
and study leave her little time for this. Of her 
time she is very avaricious, for she sleeps 
little, and usually stays in bed only five hours 


[Cliristina annotates * three hours ']; this not being 
sufficient, however, to restore her forces, she is 
sometimes obliged, principally in summer, to 
sleep an hour after dinner [Christina says, * No ']. 
She cares little about dressing and adornment ; we 
must not reckon it in the division of her day. 
She dresses in a quarter of an hour, and, except- 
ing on great occasions or festivals, the comb alone 
and a knot of ribbon constitute her headdress. 
Nevertheless this negligent method of doing her 
hair suits her face very well ; but so little care 
does she take of it that neither in sun, wind, rain, 
town or country, does she wear hat or veil. When 
she rides, she has for protection against the 
weather only a hat with feathers in it, so that a 
stranger who might see her hunting in her 
Hungarian habit with a little collar like a man's 
would never take her for the Queen. Perhaps 
she carries this too far . . . but nothino: is im- 
portant in her eyes except the ambition of 
making herself renowned for extraordinary merit 
rather than conquest ; she loves to owe her 
reputation to herself, rather than to the worth 
of her subjects." 

The character of the author, and its ob- 
viously careful delineation, added to the fact 
that it was never meant for the eye of the 
Queen, are a guarantee for the general accuracy 
of this portrait ; we may supplement it by some 


interesting details from the description of Father 
Mannerschied, confessor to the Spanish Am- 
bassador Pimentelli. 

" She is a prodigy, and the incomparable 
marvel of this century. I will say nothing 
of her of which I have not been ocular witness. 
Her forehead is broad, her eyes large and 
piercing, but her look is mild, her nose aquiline, 
her mouth small and pretty. There is nothing 
feminine in her but her sex. Her dress is 
very simple ; never have I seen her wear 
gold or silver, on her head, clothes, or neck, 
except a gold ring on her finger. ... I have 
sometimes observed, when talking to her, that 
she had spots of ink on her cuffs, from 
writing. She only spends three or four hours in 
sleep ; when she wakes she spends Rye hours in 
reading. It is torture for her to eat in public ; 
she never drinks an v thin 2^ but water ; never has 
she been heard to speak of her food, whether it 
was well or ill cooked. ... I have often heard 
her say that she lived without disquiet or dis- 
content, and that she knew nothing in the world 
great, harmful, or disturbing enough to trouble 
the tranquillity of her mind. It is her boast that 
she fears death no more than sleep. She attends 
her council regularly ; one day after being bled 
she was five hours with her ministers : another 
time, during a fever of twenty-eight days long, 


she never neglected lier state affairs. She 
says that God has given her the government of 
her kingdom, and she will do her best thereby — 
that though she may not always succeed, she 
may have nothing to reproach herself with. 
Public affairs all pass through her hands ; she 
arranges and despatches them all alone — am- 
bassadors and foreign delegates treat only with 
her, without even being passed on to secretary or 
minister. When ambassadors harangue her in 
public, she answers herself. . . . She reads all 
treatises on domestic affairs, many and copious 
though they be. I know that one day she read 
and explained in Latin one of these to a foreign 
ambassador in a very short space of time. She 
approves of all nations, esteeming virtue wherever 
it is to be found. . . . According to her, the whole 
world is divided into two nations, honest men 
and knaves. . . . She cannot bear the idea of 
marriage, because she says she was born free and 
will die free. . . . She knows ten or eleven lan- 
guages, — Latin, Greek, Italian, French, Spanish, 
High German, Flemish, Swedish, Finnish, and, 
unless I am mistaken, Danish also. She can 
read Hebrew and Arabic, and understands them a 
little. She reads and knows very well the ancient 
poets. She knows modern poets, French and 
Italian, almost by heart. She has been through 
all the ancient philosophers, and has read a great 


number of the Fathers — as, S. Augustine, 
8. Ambrose, S. Jerome, Tertullian and Cyprian ; 
but these are not to her taste, she prefers Lac- 
tantius, S. Clement of Alexandria, Arnobius, 
Minutius Felix, some of S. Jerome and 
S. Cyprian ; above all she prefers Gregory 
Nazianzen.* One cannot make use of some 
ancient poet's thought without her perceiving 
the theft. 

To these eulogies may be added the accusations 
which she brings against herself : " I was dis- 
trustful, suspicious, ambitious to an excess. I 
was hot-tempered, proud and impatient, contemp- 
tuous and satirical. I gave no one quarter. I 
was, too, incredulous and little of a devotee." 

The fame that Christina acquired by her 
personal qualities, her generous and universal 
patronage of learning and the learned, and her 
commanding position as head of the leading 
Protestant power, brought numerous suitors into 
the field for her hand. This had long been the 
subject of anxious consideration. Of these 
aspirants, the two sons of Christian lY. of Den- 
mark are first to be noticed. Prince Ulric and 
Prince Frederick. Their alliance was supposed 

* Christina's preference for this Father, whose erratic life 
and copious rhetoric furnish a commentary upon his own 
remark, that he had put away all ambition, save that of 
eloquence, is highly significant. 



to have been favoured by the Queen-motber ; 
we have already seen her close connection with 
Denmark. But however eagerly their suit might 
have been pressed, there was never the slightest 
probability that it should succeed : the relations 
between the two countries put such a match 
out of the question — Oxenstiern himself assured 
the Senate that any attempt to press this matter 
might lead to civil war, and endanger the life 
and crown of the young Queen, who never showed, 
moreover, the slightest inclination for it. 

More important were the proposals of the 
Elector of Brandenburgh. This had been a 
project dear to the heart of Gustavus Adolphus. 
In a letter of the Chancellor's to the Senate, 
dated Berlin, February 4, 1633, he writes : " His 
Majesty of Christian memory, when he was a 
year ago at Frankfort-on-the-Maine, himself 
proposed to the commissioners of the Elector of 
Brandenburgh a match between his daughter 
and the young Elector, and commanded me to 
communicate further regarding it with the 

envoys, as I have also done several times 

The principal reason was that His Majesty would 
not cede Pomerania, and yet found that it could 
not be kept without notable detriment and great 
umbrage to the Elector of Brandenburgh ; next 
that the King also perceived that if Sweden and 
Brandenburgh with their dependencies could be 


conjoined, hardly such a state could be found in 
Europe, and they might offer the headship to 
whom they would." This fine scheme was viewed 
with great jealousy and disapproval by all the 
Powers except England and Holland : but the 
soldiers in the Swedish army were already 
drinking healths to the young couple when 
Gustavus died, and the project died with him. 

Under the pretext of settling the difficulties 
connected with the Queen-mother's escape to 
Denmark, the Elector sent an embassy to Sweden 
in 1641 to make final proposals. The Kegents, 
however, who had no longer any intention of 
pursuing the design, fearing the foreign influence 
of German Princes, put him off with fine words ; 
and although from time to time he made various 
attempts to reopen the subject, at length, in 1646, 
he recognised his suit was hopeless, and married 
a Princess of Orange. It was hinted by the 
Chancellor's enemies that he had expressly pre- 
vented this marriage in order to make the way 
clear for his son Eric ; we have already seen 
that, whatever truth there might have been in 
these malicious insinuations, the only effect of 
them was to sow dissension between Christina 
and the Oxenstierns, and that the Chancellor had 
to write to his son, recommending him to marry 
in order to give the lie to scandal. 

Besides these, there were at different times 

n 2 


proposals, more or less serious, set on foot in favour 
of Philip lY. of Spain, King John of Portugal, 
the three sons of Sigismund, King of Poland, the 
King of Hungary, Don John of Austria, and 
others, all of which were, for obvious political or 
religious reasons, palpably absurd, and came to 
nothing. But of all the suitors of Christina, the 
one who seemed to be most in favour, both with 
herself and the Swedes, was Charles Gustavus, 
the Prince Palatine, her cousin. Brought up as 
she was by his mother, the Princess Catharine, 
for whom she always had a great affection, 
Christina had from her "youth up been accustomed 
to consider Charles as her future husband; in 
their children's play, they would call themselves 
husband and wife; Christina promised in this 
way to marry him when they were grown up. 
Yet such a plan would no doubt be considered 
and approved by the Princess Catharine and her 
husband : to this doubtless refers the dangerous 
question which he put to the Kegents, when he 
applied to them to direct him how his children 
should be educated ; they answered that it was 
his own affair and not that of the State. Charles 
Gustavus, after travelling abroad for two years, 
returned to Sweden in 1640, and was viewed by 
the Kegents, who were doubtless aware of his 
schemes, with great disfavour : it was apparent 
to Christina that he must go away again for a 


time. She wrote to his father that everybody 
was surprised " at the tracasseries which had 
been shown to his son, and that whatever 
may be his father's reasons for not wishing 
him to come to him, she, at least, perceives that 
he cannot remain at Stockholm consistently with 
his good fame, for fear lest they may push things 
to a rude conclusion with him": and again, " Pro- 
vidence, which knows better than ourselves what 
is good for us, will be able to set bounds to this 
iniquitous affair, and turn it to our advantage." 
Accordingly Charles Gustavus went to Germany, 
and distinguished himself greatly in the war, 
especially at Jankowitz, where he was almost 
killed, being shot through the hair, hat, and 

That Christina had at this time a great 
affection for him is proved by the following 
letter, dated January 5th, 1644: — 

"Beloved Kinsman, — I see by your letters that 
you do not dare to commit your thoughts to the 
pen. Yet we can write to one another with all 
freedom, if you will send me the key to a cipher, 
and compose your letters according to it, and put . 
the initials C. K. on the address as well as inside, 
sealins: it at the same time with a different seal 
expressly devised for that purpose, as I do with 
mine. The letters can then be sent to your 


sister, the Princess Maria. We must observe 
every possible precaution, for people have never 
been so much against us as now. But they 
shall effect nothing, if only you will remain as 
firm as I hope. People talk a great deal about 
the Elector, but neither he nor anyone else in 
the world, rich as he may be, shall ever turn 
me from you. My love is so strong that it can 
only be overcome by death ; and if, which God. 
forbid, you should die before me, my heart shall 
be dead for every other, but its memory and 
affection shall follow you to eternity, and there 
abide with you. It may be that some one will 
advise you to demand my hand now and openly, 
but I implore you by all that is sacred to have 
patience for yet a year, till you have won more 
experience in war, and I myself have got the 
crown on my head. I beg you not to let yourself 
think the time too long, but to remember the old 
saying, * He waits not too long who waits for 
something good.' I hope, with God's help, that 
it may be a good we both wait for." 

These tender feelings, however, were destined 
not to last : from this time a great change came 
over Christina's mind. Her letters gradually 
become colder, she assures the prince of her con- 
tinued affection provided he keeps within bounds. 
In proportion as she seemed inclined to draw 
back, Charles grew even more eager. On his 


return to Sweden he pressed her eagerly to 
declare herself. It was the common opinion that 
she would marry him ; it was moreover becoming 
a point of importance with the Estates in order 
to ensure the succession, now that Christina was 
of ripe age. In 1647 the clergy and the two lower 
Orders presented a petition recommending her 
to marry ; the nobles, who were by no means so 
anxious, stipulating that no special person should 
be named : they would have been very well 
pleased to see things continue as they were, and 
were particularly unwilling to further the claims 
of Charles. The Queen, though she received 
the petition generously, said that at the moment 
she had no inclination to marry, yet inquired 
whether, should she make choice of the Prince, 
he would be acceptable to the Estates. They 
answered. Yes, and the matter remained there. 
In the meantime, Charles felt himself in a very 
ambiguous position. The more he pressed her, 
the more she recoiled. In 1647, she signified 
to him her intention of appointing him 
Generalissimo of the Armies in Germany. But 
the Prince was determined not to go without 
gaining a definite declaration from her on the 
subject next his heart. This Christina would 
not give ; when he thereupon informed her that 
in that case the earlier he left for the war the 
better, she replied that he must then remain 


satisfied with, his ordinary rank. Nevertheless, 
she applied herself to his appointment with 
interest, and succeeded in carrying it against 
the opposition of the Chancellor and High 
Marshal. Charles Gustavus endeavoured to 
shake her resolution in a remarkable conversation 
which he had with her in the presence of Matthiae 
and the Count Magnus de la Gardie. The Queeu 
informed him that she could give him no 
promise to marry him ; she would however 
promise not to marry any one else ; and further, 
that if she finally determined never to marry, 
she would cause him to be appointed her suc- 
cessor to the throne ; more she could not do. 
The Prince declared emphatically that if he did 
not marry her all was indifferent to him ; he 
would never return to Sweden. The Queen 
angrily retorted, that all this was mere romance ; 
he must recollect he was born for higher 
things than idling about on his paternal estate, 
and prepare to apply himself to his duty. When 
he referred to her childish promises, she told 
him that she did not consider herself bound by 
promises made at a time when she was incapable 
of recognising the seriousness of the position ; 
he must be content with what she had said, and 
consider it an honour, should he die before 
gaining his hopes, that he had ever been con- 
sidered worthy of such a fortune. Charles 


ungenerously taunted her with the reports that 
had been spread of her marriage with Eric 
Oxenstiern, and said it did not apparently need 
much honour to aspire to her hand. This irri- 
tated the Queen, who declared he was unworthy of 
what she had done for him. The further expos- 
tulations of the Prince could not succeed in 
drawing from her anything more definite than 
what she had already told him ; to his demand that 
he might be allowed to write to her, she replied 
that he had her permission to correspond with 
his father and Matthias. They parted on these 
terms ; yet when the Prince embarked for his 
post, she followed him with her eyes as far as 
possible from the terrace of her castle. 

What now were the reasons which determined 
Christina against marriage ? They were not 
merely personal. Charles Gustavus was a man 
of daring courage and ambition, and, if Christina 
in jest used to call him *' the little Burgomaster," 
she seems always to have preserved a respect and 
affection for him. It was said, indeed, with what 
truth we cannot determine, that she had heard 
rumours of his liaisons with other women, which 
were not likely to impress her proud spirit in his 
favour. Further, Chanut tells us, that Christina, 
before her resignation in 1654, sent to. Charles 
Gustavus to say that Count Magnus (then in 
disgrace) was unworthy of his affection or com- 


passion, inasmuch as lie had been a false friend 
to him while in favour. She wished him to know 
that her not haying married him was owing to 
the Count, who had inspired her with a special 
aversion to the Prince. This is by no means 
impossible ; although Count Magnus was con- 
sidered to be a great friend of the Prince, yet the 
meanness of his character, which will amply 
appear in the course of this narrative, and the 
fact that his influence was destined to come to an 
end should Christina marry Charles, give a 
colour to the report. 

However this may be, it is certain that the 
determination of the Queen never to marry 
lay much deeper down. The proud and 
ineradicable independence of her mind and 
character recoiled instinctively from the idea of 
giving herself a master. " I will live and die 
free," she said to the Jesuit Mannerschied ; in 
later life she had a medal struck with the in- 
scription, liber io nacqui e vissi e morro sciolto. 
She told Chanut in 1651, that she would rather 
choose death than a husband. The idea of 
belonging to another, of being anyone's chattel, 
disgusted her ; she shrank from classing herself 
in any respect with a sex she despised. From 
an anecdote preserved to us, quite in keeping 
with her character, but which will not bear 
repeating, it seems that the merely physical 


aspect of marriage was an insuperable obstacle 
to her. With all this agrees what Duke Adolphus 
told Whitelocke, that the Queen's refusal to 
marry Charles came from her innate abhorrence 
of the tie. 

Yet to this must be added what is, un- 
doubtedly, the strongest motive of all. At 
this time she was pondering a change of religion. 
To the statement in a history of that time, 
assigning as a reason for her abdication in favour 
of Charles " that she wished to become a Catholic," 
Christina has added a note, " This is the sole 
foundation of Charles's fortune ; all the rest is 
false." Even when she was a child, when she 
heard that among Catholics the highest merit 
was assigned to the unmarried state : " Ah ! " 
she had exclaimed, " how fine that is ; it is of 
that religion that I will be." 

We shall go more fully into the question of 
her conversion and its motives further on, 
when it will be seen that she had at this time 
already determined to become a Catholic ; here h, 
will be snfficient to point out how strongly the 
religious aspect of celibacy influenced her at this 
crisis. In the very singular fragment entitled 
her Memoirs, which is addressed to the Deity, 
there are many passages which throw great light 
on this point of a single life. " Thou hast been 
willing to let me know, from the cradle, the 


advantage of this great independence ; which I 
have been able to maintain and will maintain till 
death." " I was called to the glory of sacrificing 
all to Thee, and I had to obey my vocation ; " . . . 
"my ardent and impetuous temperament has 
given me no less inclination for love than for 
ambition ; into what misfortune might not so 
terrible an inclination have hurled me, had not 
Thy grace made use even of my defects to correct 
me of it; my ambition, my pride, incapable of 
submitting to anyone, my disdain, despising 
all things, have served me as admirable pre- 
servations; and by Thy grace Thou hast added 
thereto so fine a delicacy, that Thou hast saved 
me from an inclination so perilous for Thy glory 
and my happiness ; however near the precipice I 
have been, Thy powerful hand has drawn me 
back. ... I should without doubt have married, 
had I not been conscious of the strength Thou 
hast given me to go without the pleasures of love. 
I knew the world too well to be ignorant that a 
girl who wishes to enjoy her life needs must have 
a husband': above all, a girl of my rank, who 
marries only to gain a subject, rather, a slave to 
her will and caprice. I was born to such a 
condition and walk in life that I might have 
chosen among all men him who took my fancy, 
for there was not one in the world who would not 
have deemed himself lucky if I had been willing 


to give him my hand, I knew my advantages too 
well not to have the mind to make use of them. 
Had I been conscious of any weakness, I should 
have known how, like so many others, to marry 
for pleasure's sake, and enjoy my good fortune ; 
and I should not have had that insensible 
aversion for marriage, of which I have given 
so many striking marks, had it been necessary 
to me. But Thou hast given me a heart meet to 
be taken up with Thee alone ; Thou hast formed 
it of so admirable and vast a capacity that nothing 
could fill it but Thyself." 

To these extraordinary passages may be added 
the numerous places in her sentences and maxims 
which touch scornfully on marriage ; and as a 
proof that this is not mere bravado, her conduct 
in later years, when, after the abdication of John 
Casimir, she endeavoured to gain the throne of 
Poland ; at which time she would not yield to 
the condition necessary, and declared that for the 
empire of the whole world she would not marry, 
much less for the crown of Poland. 

The motives which led Christina to remain 
unmarried, to resign the crown, and to go over to 
Rome, are so inextricably blended together that 
it is only after considering all three points that a 
complete judgment can be formed on any one of 
them. Enough has been said for the moment to 
throw a light on her love of celibacy, and let 


US partially understand her conduct to Charles 
Gustavus. Starting from the intention to become 
a Catholic, and, in close connection with this, to 
remain single, she found herself in a difficulty as 
regards the throne. The constitution of Sweden, 
and the national antipathy to Kome, would not 
allow her to retain the crown : this explains her ex- 
clamation to the Jesuit : *' There is no help for 
it, I must resign." There were, indeed, further 
motives to assist her in her resignation, to which 
we shall return. This point gained, it was 
necessary for her to prepare the succession to the 
throne, and she now set herself to make smooth 
the way for Charles Gustavus. To do this was a 
task of no ordinary difficulty, but she showed 
in this as elsewhere her diplomatic skill and 
masterful strength of character. 

Although all Christina's subjects were not 
equally desirous to see her married, a maiden 
queen and a disputed succession being thoroughly 
to the taste of the noble oligarchy, yet by the other 
Orders, and especially the clergy, to whom the 
celibate state was a stone of offence, representa- 
tions and petitions continued to be addressed to 
her, recommending her to choose a consort. No 
suspicion of the actual state of her mind was at 
this time entertained, till in February 1649 the 
Queen herself opened the subject. She informed 
the Senate that for some years she had been 



continually solicited to marry ; she could not 
disapprove of the foresight of those who loved 
their country and desired to prevent the evils 
that might arise, if God withdrew her from the 
world without leaving a fixed succession. . . . 
She could not, however, get over her repugnance 
to marriage ; and accordingly, out of her anxiety 
and love for her country, she had determined to 
consult the safety of the State by a course which 
might finally be detrimental to herself, viz., to 
propose to the Estates a successor to the throne, 
whose nomination would deliver them from the 
fear of her death : for which ofiSce none were 
more suited than her cousin. Prince Charles 
Gustavus, upon whose qualities she proceeded to 
expatiate. She then laid before them for their 
consideration two questions : — 1. Whether the 
marriage of the Queen was the only method 
of providing a successor to the throne. 2. 
Whether the good of the State would not better 
be consulted by naming Prince Charles heir 
to the throne in case of her own death. If the 
Senate would give its decision, she would propose 
it to the Committee of the Estates, and then bring 
it before the assembled Diet for confirmation. 

After recovering themselves from their astouish- 

.ment, they all spoke at once to try and dissuade 

her from the scheme, and assured her they would 

oppose it. to the death. "I know well," said 


Christina,. " that some of you are minded to 
establish an elective monarchy after my death ; 
to these I must say that none of them are to be 
compared to Prince Charles ; others wish for an 
aristocratic government, wherein they follow 
their own interests ; such a constitution is by no 
means suitable for Sweden, otherwise I would 
myseK at this moment try to establish it : every- 
one knows what the Chancellor and the High 
Steward are aiming at." Field-marshal Torsten- 
son replied that except out of consideration for 
her Majesty, no one would ever have thought 
of Prince Charles ; they must think twice before 
making themselves slaves; as to a Eepublican 
Government, no one had ever thought of it. . . . 
Finally, however, each senator severally answered 
for it that if the Queen died childless they would 
give their votes for Prince Charles. Christina 
answered that she could not trust to mere words, 
but must have this reduced to writing in due 
form. They endeavoured to point out the in- 
convenience arising from an heir-presumptive, 
especially for herself: they cited the evils caused 
by princes of the blood, and feared lest she 
might even after this marry some one else, the 
consequences leading possibly to civil war. 
Christina replied, she would answer for a good 
understanding between the Prince and herself; 
she solemnly engaged herself to marry none 



but Prince Charles ; in any case this remote 
possibility was not to be compared to the danger 
of her dyin^ without heirs : and if there was to 
be a civil war, it would be no worse that it 
should arise out of the conflict between heirs of 
the Prince and her own, than that of the Houses 
of Oxenstiern and Brahe for the elective monarchy. 
When one of the House of Oxenstiern begged 
her not to cite his house in this invidious way, 
she said that she had named it as she mis^ht have 
named any other. The Senate still continued 
obstinate not to entrust their promises to writing. 
" If," said the Queen, " I marry Prince Charles, 
you will doubtless recognise his children ; but 
if I die without heirs, I will bet my two ears 
he will never sit upon the throne." " Prince 
Charles," said Torstenson, " will never marry, if 
not your Majesty." " 0, but he will," exclaimed 
the Queen ; " love burns not for one alone ; the 
crown is a pretty girl." 

On resuming the discussion a few days later, 
seeing them resolving to put the matter off to 
the ensuing Diet, the Queen said that she saw 
no reason for postponing the settlement, the 
matter being one on which she had reflected 
daily for three years. Should she determine to 
marry, she could not give her hand to a mere 
Palsgrave ; he must first be nominated successor 
to the throne. It was accordingly arranged that 



next day the Committee of the Estates should be 
summoned to the Senate. After much discussion 
the Queen declared that they should get nothing 
out of her on the subject of marriage ; it was, 
further, impossible for her to marry before she 
was crowned. Thereupon Matthise pointed out 
that her Majesty was bound by the laws of the 
realm to marry in order to ensure succession. 
Christina answered, no one could compel her to 
it; what more, besides, could they desire that 
the succession should be secured ? Till the 
Prince was declared successor she could give no 
promise to marry; but at all events nothing 
should compel her thereto. Matthiae assured 
her that it was noised throughout Europe that 
she was to marry Prince Charles. " When they 
have chattered enough about it," rejoined the 
Queen, "they will find something else to talk 
about." They could get nothing further from 
her than this : Charles must be declared successor 
before she could think of marrying him, and 
upon this she would not declare her mind till 
she was crowned. 

The Committee retired after giving its consent. 
In the Diet, the three lower Orders agreed to 
accept Prince Charles ; but the nobility still 
drew back, till the Queen exposed to them the 
danger they ran of getting a king in spite of 
themselves ; adding, that the three other Orders 


had given their consent; she well knew that it 
was only a small part of them that set itself in 
opposition to her wishes ; she could distinguish 
between them, and mark those who consulted 
their own interests in preference to those of the 
State. They accordingly withdrew, amazed, and 
the bravest among them began to take another 
tone. The Senate, now left alone, saw itself 
obliged to give in. 

One opj)onent only remained. "The Chan- 
cellor," says Christina in her Memoirs, " was one 
of the greatest obstacles I had to overcome in 
order to carry my design of sacrificing all to 
Thee." He had been absent from the Senate 
through illness ; Mr. Nicolas Tungel, Secretary 
to the Court, was despatched by Christina to 
take him the Act of Succession to sign, on March 
11, 1650. Tungel drew up a report of the con- 
versation. Oxenstiern answered, with a sinister 
air, that he had but little knowledge of the 
matter, and would not therefore have it said that 
he had ever a hand in it ; had they taken his 
opinion on it, he might have given better counsel 
on so important a matter, which had been too 
much hurried on. " I assure you," he added, " that 
if at this moment I saw my grave open before me, 
and I had to choose either to get in or sign this 
act, devil fly off with me, if I would not rather lie 
down in it than sign this instrument, not that it 

I 2 


is not well drawn up, but that the future will 
show when it is too late that the consequences 
will be quite other than many persons suppose, 
and bring repentance with them ; my consolation 
lies chiefly in my old age, which will prevent me 
from seeing that time. If I am mistaken, I will 
allow that all my principles are false, and have 
deceived me ; and others may say that I am an 
old fool, understanding nothing in these affairs." 
The Secretary saying that the rest of the Senators 
and the Estates had consented ; were their hearts 
all tablets, said the Chancellor, and her Majesty 
able to read them, she would see written there- 
on quite other things : how few were those 
who were sincere in the matter. As for himself, 
he would stand out no longer, now that things 
had gone so far, but go over to the majority; 
but he wished to stand excused before God 
and posterity, convinced as he was that the 
affair would end badly for the weal of the State. 
Never since the House of Vasa sat on the throne 
had there come up for decision anything so 

Well might the old Chancellor feel disturbed. 
He had seen three monarchs of his beloved house 
Charles IX., Gustavus Adolphus, and Christina, 
and his long life had been devoted to their ser- 
vice ; now at the close of his career came an act, 
which seemed to herald the ruin of all his labours 


ajid strivings, and hand over the national throne 
of the Vasas to a hated stranger. 

Christina alluded to his opposition in the 
Senate, blaming him, yet without bitterness, for 
his antagonism to her wishes. She had gained 
her point, the first step and the most difficult, to 
the full accomplishment of her design. That she 
could so completely overcome all opposition, and 
successfully carry through so delicate a business, 
gives us a great idea of her power and influence 
in the government. Charles Gustavus had in 
truth great reason to be thankful to her ; yet she 
did not content herself with this. In the follow- 
ing year, on his return, she caused him and his 
descendants to be declared heirs to the throne, 
in the event of her dying without issue. He was 
entitled "Prince of Sweden," and "Koyal High- 
ness," with a yearly pension of 50,000 thalers. 
Yet she would not permit him to hold any office, 
nor take any part in the government, nor would 
she endow him with any principality, calling this 
an arcanum imperii. The Prince on his side took 
an oath to recognise the Queen as his legitimate 
sovereign, and obey her, himself and his heirs ; 
to do nothing of importance without her advice 
and that of the Senate ; and to observe in every 
particular the constitutional rights and duties, 
should he ever come to the throne. 

The year 1650 was closed by her coronation, 


which took place on October 30 ; a long and 
circumstantial account was published at Paris the 
same year. 

" Although the coronation of the Queen of 
Sweden had been determined since 1648, it was 
postponed again and again to allow time for the 
extensive preparations, her Majesty wishing to 
make it splendid and magnificent ; but princi- 
pally, too, owing to the delay in executing the 
Peace of Germany, before which it was judged that 
such a celebration would not be sufficiently joyous 
or striking, while the most illustrious captains 
and generals of the nation were still busied in 
settling the long-desired Peace. At length, 
in the beginning of this present year 1650, 
there being every probability that the affairs of 
war would finally be determined, and that all 
would tend to a freer and more certain leisure 
and repose, her Majesty, in conjunction with 
the Senate, thought good to hold the Coronation. 

"The day was fixed for the 20th October. Now, 
according to ancient custom it appears that the 
usual scene of this grand ceremony has been the 
town of Upsala, the seat of the Archbishop of the 
Eealm ; nevertheless, in order to avoid the incon- 
venience, in this coronation, more magnificent 
than any that had preceded it, of conveying all 
to Upsala, no less than that of causing so great a 
multitude of people to betake themselves there, 


it was considered more suitable to hold it at 
Stockholm. ... As the day drew near, the 
Queen left Stockholm on the 14th, and repaired 
to Jacobstad, the house of the High Constable de 
la Gardie, half a league away, in order to make 
her entry into the town from that place two days 
afterwards. During her stay, this noble left 
nothing undone to receive and entertain her with 
the greatest magnificence ; the most striking 
mark of his profusion was, that, on the first and 
last day, to provide drink for all the world, he 
caused four fountains of Spanish and French wines, 
white and red, to run from noon till evening. 

" The day of her Majesty's entree into the town 
having arrived, namely the 17th of October, all 
the nobility came out to meet her in brilliant equi- 
pages. The entree began between two and three 
o'clock, and lasted till half-past five. A. regiment 
of cavalry, armed with steel cuirasses and wearing 
blue scarves, opened the procession. They were 
followed by five companies of the guards dressed 
in yellow and blue. ... (a long enumeration 
follows of) the trains of the Senators, the nobility, 
Foreign Envoys and Ambassadors, ladies of the 
Court, with their several carriages, pages, trumpe- 
ters, richly decorated horses and mules. Specially 
noticeable were the Princes Charles and Adolphus, 
and the Queen-mother. The Queen herself rode 
in a carriage covered with black velvet richly 


embroidered with gold, surrounded by pages, 
archers, halberdiers, and footmen. At the entry 
of the town had been erected by the Senators a 
triumphal arch ; * 'twas the most superb thing 
that could be seen ; it cost sixteen thousand 
crowns, though it was only made of wood, yet it 
was covered with linen painted so curiously that 
it seemed to be built of stone ; all around it might 
be seen designs of the battles stricken during the 
last war in Germany, with emblems suited to 
their subject ; as, a crown, with the device, Felix 
cum non dat honor em, sed recipit ; a sun rising over 
fields and flowers : motto, tot pulchra per unum ; 
a lion, holding in one paw a thunderbolt, with 
the legend : Nos etiam Jovis arma decent ; a vine, 
from which various branches hung down : the 
device, Juncti Idetamur in una ! Upon the arch 
itself was a long inscription, sounding the praises 
of Christina and her reign, with an epigram in 
Latin; above hung a quantity of flags and 
standards, the prizes of war.' " 

As soon as her Majesty had arrived at her room 
the signal was given throughout the Castle to 
fire salutes, as well of the cannon around Stock- 
holm, as on the men-of-war. They lasted two 
hours ; there were two discharges ; each time 
might be counted nine hundred shots. The rest 
of the day was taken up with a banquet, to which 
the principal lords of the Court were invited. 


The two next days were employed in pre- 
parations for the Coronation on the following 
Sunday, and the presentation of rich gifts from 
various States and towns to the Queen, such as 
Livonia, Pomerania, Eiga, Stettin, Stralsund, 
Stockholm, and others. 

On Sunday another splendid procession re- 
paired to the Church ; there, after a sermon by 
the Bishop of Strengnas, the ceremony of the 
Coronation was performed. The Archbishop 
having made a short discourse, the oath of the 
Kings of Sweden was read by the Chancellor, 
the Queen repeating it word by word. Then the 
Archbishop anointed her Majesty with the sacred 
oil, and placed the crown on her head ; the various 
grand officers approached and presented to her 
the Sword, the Sceptre, the Golden Apple, and 
Key ; after which a herald came forward and 
shouted to the people, *' The most poiuerful Queen 
Cliristina is crowned, herself and none other ! " The 
Queen then took her seat on a throne opposite 
the altar, beneath a dais, supported by the 
Generals of the Army, Konigsmarck, Wittemberg 
and others. Prince Charles by her side ; all the 
Senators and the Prince then took the oath of 
fidelity to her. On leaving the Church the 
Queen mounted a superb triumphal car, gilded 
all over, and drawn by four white horses. Before 
her went a treasurer, casting golden and silver 


medals among the people. Arrived at the Castle, 
the cannon began, and in the evening a grand 
feast was held in the great Hall. This royal 
feasting lasted three days ; on the third the 
Estates took the oaths to her Majesty ; " on the 
following Wednesday, people rested ; " on the 
Thursday there came a tournament, wherein 
Prince Charles, the Landgrave of Hesse and others 
did marvels ; " what chiefly caused astonishment 
was a fine triumphal car, which advanced by 
itself along the course, without any one being 
able to discern the secret means by which it 
moved ; " there was also " a mountain as high as 
a house, on which persons dressed like goddesses, 
representing the assembly of the Muses, dis- 
coursed a pleasant music." 

The Assembly of deputies of the Empire at 
Nuremberg congratulated Christina, as well on 
the conclusion of peace as on her coronation, 
comparing her heroical virtues to a luminous 
body spreading its rays throughout the Universe. 
At Stockholm a great number of theatrical pieces 
were given in her honour, amongst others, one 
representing the superiority of women to men ; 
and as a memorial of the solemnities, a pyramid 
was set up, as it were erected to Christina by 
Antiope, Penthesilea, and Thalestris, the three 
queens of the Amazons. 

" After this Thursday," adds the report. 


" attention was given to serious business, touch- 
ing the conclusion of the Diet, which neverthe- 
less did not prevent certain further rejoicings ; " 
the nobility, for instance, gave banquets and 
feasts one after another to honour the Queen 
and keep up the festivities. 

One wonders indeed with what mingled feelings 
these gorgeous displays were viewed by the faith- 
ful commons, who were at this moment vainly 
endeavouring to get their wrongs redressed. 

( 124 ) 


To the well-known theory of Bolingbroke, and 
those attempted revivals of his principles in 
modern times which may be briefly described as 
the " monarch and multitude " constitutional 
ideal, hostile critics have objected that, apart 
from the abstract value of the remedy proposed, 
it did not fit the facts it sought to meet. But 
were it possible for such a patriot king as 
Bolingbroke dreamed of to exist in flesh and 
blood, of all times and places that which would 
have suited him best was Sweden in 1650, when 
a middle class did not practically exist, and only 
a close and oppressive Venetian oligarchy stood 
between the monarch and a down-trodden people. 
As we have seen, Christina's confirmation, on 
her accession in 1644, of all the acts of the 
Regents, and her refusal to resume the alienated 
Crown lands, had aroused great discontent ; this 
burst forth with violence, as soon as the termina- 
tion of the war threw the Swedes back upon 
themselves. The centre of the question lay in 
this alienation of the Crown lands ; with this is 
intimately connected the general social condition 
and the mutual relations of nobles and commons ; 


all evils being greatly enhanced by the extreme 
exhaustion of the country and the finances owing 
to the long war. 

To appreciate the situation it is necessary 
to glance at the internal condition of Sweden, 
and the causes which led to the bad state 
of affairs. It must be carefully observed, how- 
ever, that the prevailing aristocratic tendency 
was by no means peculiar to Sweden, but formed 
a part of that which was going on at the time 
throughout Europe. " There has never," says 
Ranke, "been a time more favourable to the 
aristocracy than the middle of the seventeenth 
century, when throughout the whole extent of the 
Spanish monarchy that power, which preceding 
kings had withdrawn from the high nobility, 
had again fallen into their hands ; w^hen the 
constitution of England acquired, amidst the 
most perilous conflicts and struggles, that 
aristocratic character which it retains even to 
our own times ; when the French parliaments 
persuaded themselves that they could perform a 
part similar to that taken by the English Houses; 
when the nobility acquired a decided predomi- 
nance through all the German territories — 
one here and there excepted, where some 
courageous prince overpowered all efforts for 
independence ; when the Estates of Sweden 
attempted to impose insufferable restraints on 


the sovereign authority, and the Polish nobility 
attained to unfettered autonomy. The same 
spirit was now becoming prevalent in Kome." 

This universal tendency was not unnoticed by 
the statesmen of that age ; the troubles in 
France and England were marked with appre- 
hension by Christina, who knew the state of her 
own country, and feared the influence of example. 
Already in February, 1647, she writes to Salvius: 
" I foresee there will be plenty for me to attend 
to here, so I pray for a peace." And it was 
especially on this account she distrusted the 
Chancellor, who was said to be so much in favour 
of the Kepublican form of government that he 
spoke of it and praised it openly. Chanut says 
of him that though he blamed the barbarity of 
the execution of Charles I., yet he admired and 
praised the designs and tendency of the Parlia- 
ment. " I tell you," said Christina to Whitelocke 
in 1653, speaking of Oliver Cromwell, " under 
secrecy, that my Chancellor would formerly have 
been so in Sweden when I was young, but could 
not attain unto it ; but if he was my enemy, yet 
I should say that he is a wise and gallant man." 

In Sweden the nobility had always been 
strong. It was their temporary depression by 
the tyranny of Christian II. and his " blood bath 
of Stockholm " that enabled Gustavus Vasa to 
unite with the people and establish himself. 


Charles IX. made it his especial aim to destroy 
their power, but Gustavus Adolphus, partly- 
through his desire of conciliating them as a basis 
for his own power, partly by the combined 
influence of his continued absence in war, and 
the aristocratic tendency of his new system of 
nobility of office, greatly increased their pre- 
ponderance. Under him and the Kegency the 
nobles added to their enormous social influence 
that of political power ; by the form of govern- 
ment, as already shown, the whole administration 
of the State was placed in their hands. Socially 
they were omnipotent. They could only be 
judged by their peers; their property could not 
pass, by sale or otherwise, into the hands of the 
Crown ; they were untaxed ; no taxes could even 
be imposed on the peasants in their domains 
without their consent ; they had their own 
courts of justice ; they might trade with 
their own wares free of toll. They stood 
shoulder to shoulder for their own interests 
against King and Commons, equally jealous of 
" new men " and the citizen class ; by a marriage 
with a woman of this class a noble lost his rights. 
They alone benefited by the war, not only 
because its burdens did not fall on them, nor 
again because they acquired glory and huge 
sums in its conduct, but because they took 
advantage of the necessities of the State to 


purchase, often for merely nominal values, those 
Crown lands which the King had to sell to get 
money ; for only the nobility might purchase 
these lands, and thus, having no competitors, 
they bought them frequently for next to nothing 
at all. All this power they abused and increased 
enormously by reckless neglect or open defiance 
of the law, and grinding of the peasants. 

Upon this unfortunate class fell the whole 
weight of the war. Taxes, conscriptions, exactions 
of all kinds were not the worst ; the impossibility 
of redress and the savage oppression of the nobles 
laid upon them the last straw. Things grew so 
bad that numbers left their homes ; whole 
districts were evacuated, and the land lay un- 
tilled ; agriculture was fast being ruined. 
Beyond all, they resented the alienation of the 
Crown lands ; they complained that by the 
change of masters the free yeoman became a 
slave ; for the nobles used their power to anni- 
hilate every vestige of personal right in their 
tenant. Instead of holding direct of the Crown, 
he now depended on the arbitrary will of the 
noble to whom he fell ; even in cases where 
legally certain rights remained to him, his 
master used every means of persuasion or intimi- 
dation by force or fraud to reduce him to 
complete dependence. The nobles even made u 
boast of this altered relation. "We are all 


subjects of the Crown/' said the High Steward 
Count Brahe, in the Diet of 1650, " we imme- 
diately, the peasants mediately." Not only the 
Crown lands, but the Crown rents of the tax- 
paying peasants were alienated ; and " as there 
were not wanting persons to maintain that all 
liability to land tax had its origin in the Crown's 
primary right of property in the soil, wherefore 
the transfer of the rents must bring with it a 
silent transfer of the soil itself," the one way was 
as good as the other. The soil was rapidly 
becoming vested in the nobility ; the old com- 
plaint of Pliny, Latifundia per dicier e Italiam, was 
becoming applicable also to Sweden. In 1624, 
the peasants even threatened in certain districts 
to murder the nobles, and drive away the King. 

The alienation of Crown lands arose out of the 
financial difficulties. G-ustavus Adolphus, always 
pressed for money, could find none ; the lower 
orders were completely exhausted ; no further 
imposts could be laid upon them without danger 
of a revolt : the occupation of certain monopolies, 
such as salt, by the Crown, was insufficient and 
temporary ; no resource remained but the Crown 
lands : these were mortgaged, sold, and given 
away with reckless extravagance. Under the 
Kegency the practice was continued and greatly 
increased. The ownership of large estates had 
indeed something to be said on its side : a 



greater capital could be employed upon the 
land ; yet the entire want of consideration on 
the part of the nobles rendered this advantage 
trifling in comparison with the counterbalancing 
evils. There can be no doubt that they aimed 
at doing what had already taken place in 
Denmark, and gaining a complete preponderance 
in the State : they proved this well by their sub- 
sequent action during the minority of Charles XI. 
We cannot acquit Oxenstiern of the blame, that 
he made no thoroughgoing attempt to set 
himself against the evil ; but he seems to have 
been of that school of statesmen who devote their 
genius wholly to the welfare of the State as a 
whole, in its foreign relations, rather than in its 
domestic condition : and yet this was certainly 
not for want of insight.* 

Against the lack of income was to be set the 
enormous expenditure of the State. The neces- 
sary outlay for the war was greatly increased by 
the superfluous number of officers and the 
enormous pay of the State officials. It is worth 
while to particularise here. The five Regents 
had each 18,000 thalers a year ; the Admiral 
in addition, as he had to keep open table, 500 th. 
a week; every senator 6,000 th. a year, with 
500 th. a month for table expenses. Further, most 
of them had some governorship, which brought 
* See page 29. 


him in a large sum ; any who had not, received 
instead 600 th. a year. And this only for the 
Senate ! It was the same with ambassadors. 
John Oxenstiern received at the Congress 50 th. a 
day while alone, and 100 th. when the three pleni- 
potentiaries were together. "What wonder," says 
Grauert, " that at Christina's accession the State 
chest was so empty that the ordinary necessaries 
could no longer be paid for, and credit was gone ! " 

This, however, was not all. The higher officers 
in the army always received disproportionately 
huge sums ; further, there was endless mismanage- 
ment and peculation among the officials. A certain 
councillor of the Exchequer, for instance, one 
Hanson, who had amassed great wealth, and was 
ennobled in 1641, was condemned to death in 1642 
for great malversations, his patent of nobility 
being torn up. How powerful his accomplices 
were, and, let us add, how prevalent the crime, 
appears from this : that they induced the young 
Queen to beg for his life ; but the case was too 

It must always be remembered in Christina's 
favour that she found the financial condition 
desperate and did not make make it so. Her 
thoughtless profusion certainly added to the 
difficulties, but was infinitely far from creating 
them. That the catastrophe occurred in 1650, 
during her reign, proves this absolutely; it 

K 2 


was the discliarge of the acciimTilated evils of 
fifty years. Hence the extreme necessity for 
peace, which yet, when it came, for the moment 
added to the distress. And she endeavoured to 
ameliorate the condition of the down-trodden 
peasants in various ways, before the outbreak in 
1650. She provided by law that they should be 
paid for the lodging and horses which they had 
previously been obliged to supply to the nobles 
gratis, when they were travelling through the 
country. She endeavoured to promote emigration 
to America in her newly-established colony, by 
granting privileges to settlers. And she caused 
a committee to examine the laws and rectify as 
far as possible existing anomalies and abuses in 
accordance with the principles of equity. One 
of the complaints of the oppressed Fourth Estate 
referred specially to the abuse of justice, the 
private prisons and tortures, used against them 
by the nobility. The torture in trials, hitherto 
resorted to, was abolished by her. 

In 1650, the wretched state of things described 
was enhanced by bad harvests and famine. The 
loud clamours of the peasantry against the nobles, 
and their angry demand that the Crown estates 
should be reclaimed, were accompanied by another 
complication which gave them a powerful support. 
Certain privileges of the nobles had given special 
offence to the clergy ; in particular, the tithes, 


from wliicli in respect of their raanors the nobility 
was exempted, and the right of patronage in 
parishes ; the nobles in a pastoral district could 
elect the minister, and, in spite of certain limiting 
conditions, ''no priest could be forced upon a 
noble against his will : " the nobles had their own 
chapels, and their own chaplain, and '* would not 
go to church." This caused the ecclesiastical order 
to unite with the people, by whom they were much 
esteemed, and over whom they had great influence. 
But within this order there was no cohesion ; the 
bishops, whose position in relation to the inferior 
clergy was analogous to that of the old nobility 
towards the " new men," were seen to abandon 
their class, and side with the aristocratic party. 

Already, in 1649, there had been presages of 
that wuhich was to come. While the peasants 
renewed their murmuring against the nobles, 
the clergy raised their complaints as to the 
abuse of patronage and the non-payment of 
tithes. The nobility treated these claims with 
insolent -arrogance. They " demanded the main- 
tenance of their right of patronage unim- 
paired." The Queen replied that the nobility 
were bound, unless furnished with a legal excuse, 
to attend the churches; otherwise, from the 
number of chaplains, the land would be over- 
stocked with clergy who were not wanted, so 
that they would be eventually compelled, to the 


dishonour of the realm and degradation of the 
order, to settle in farms and become peasants, 
and be employed by the nobility like others of 
their slaves. In opposition to the prospect of the 
civil service appointments being open to the sons 
of priests, if capable, the nobles petitioned that 
persons of their own order might be employed in 
her Majesty's Chancery. "They regarded the 
first offices in the State as their patrimony." The 
Queen sharply answered, " Offices were no heredi- 
tary estates." Things began to look very black : 
seditious pamphlets and satirical pasquinades 
were circulated. " I see," wrote the Chancellor, 
" that Europe and the whole world is disturbed ; 
there seems to be at hand a great conversio rerum.^' 

The fulness of time and the stir caused by her 
coronation brought things to a crisis in 1650. 
On October 3rd the three lower orders presented 
to her their " Protestation as to the restitution 
of Crown Estates." In this, after enumerating the 
grounds of their discontent, they demand that all 
Crown lands shall be resumed and that it shall be 
declared illegal to sell such lands for the future. 

The nobles endeavoured to excite the hostility 
of the Queen against the Orders, by pleading that 
this petition was an attack on the royal prerogat- 
ive. But although Christina was firmly deter- 
mined not to resume any lands, either bought 
with money or given away by herself, and 


regarded such an act as mere confiscation, her 
sympathies were entirely for the petitioners. 
"She approved greatly of the protest of the 
Orders, as being a salutary measure, recommend- 
ing them most earnestly to be constant in their 
purpose, and repeatedly ejaculating, 'Now or 
never,' " says Terserus, the energetic and resolute 
spokesman of the lower clergy, deserted by their 
bishops. It was entirely owing to her tact and 
sympathetic mediation that some great social 
convulsion was prevented, for " there was every 
prospect of civil war, to which not only the 
country people, but the burghers were much 
inclined ; some of the most wealthy nobles 
thought of flight." There was fighting in the 
streets of Stockholm ; Oxenstiern is said to have 
sat in his room, expecting every time the door 
opened that some one would come in to assassi- 
nate him. 

How difiicult a position Christina was in will 
be realised if we recollect that at this moment 
her Coronation was placing her in intimate 
personal connection with those very men whom, 
as nobles, she was politically opposed to ; and 
this made it almost impossible entirely to break 
with them. Still, it is to be remembered that, 
throughout the danger, she was never unpopular 
with the people ; it was not her, but the nobles, 
they hated. One of the seditious pamphlets, 


entitled ' Spectacles for Princes,' exemplifies 

their attitude ; in it she is warned to open her 

eyes to the designs of the aristocracy, who are 

aiming at ruining her and enslaving the people. 

No intimidation on their part could induce her, 

however, to consent to resume the Crown lands ; 

but she did what she could in their behalf. She 

promised both the clergy and the peasants her 

protection, and issued decrees confirming the 

privileges of the former, and directing that the 

nobles should abstain from oppressing their 

peasants. She found a certain support against 

the old aristocracy in those '* new " men whom she 

raised in large numbers to the nobility during 

her reign, but she could not do much against 

them ; they were too strong. The burgher class 

were appeased in some degree by a reduction of 

the salt tax ; and the dexterous conciliation of 

the clergy by the Queen at length after a split 

of six weeks reunited them to their bishops. 

When the Estates had remained assembled for the 

unprecedented time of four months, they separated, 

their animosities allayed, not satisfied ; and the 

temporary pacification was only effected by the 

clergy signing the protest, the nobles refusing to 

make the slightest concessions. How little they 

cared for expostulations is seen in their demand of 

the Queen that an example should be made of 

the boldest among their denunciators in the 


Diet ; when this was refused, they next asked 
her to address a sharp reprimand to the orders 
that had ventured to oppose them. No aristo- 
cracy has ever shown so sublime an unconscious- 
ness that power has its duties, as the Swedish ; 
they continued in their blind infatuation till 
retribution came under Charles XI. Christina 
scouted their request ; she went further, and 
publicly declared, with regard to the contemptu- 
ous epithet " ill-born " they applied to the lower 
Orders, that no others should be understood by the 
word than those who had degenerated from their 
birth by the neglect of virtue, and stained their 
descent by sloth and baseness ; and that all who 
were of legitimate birth and respectable ancestry, 
whether nobles or clergy, burghers or peasants, 
should neither be called " ill-born," nor excluded 
from any station of honour in their native country. 
And here appears the only insoluble problem 
in Christina's career. How was it that, while she 
had the genius to appreciate the evil state of the 
people and the courage to take their part against 
the nobles, while in all other ways she laboured 
unwearyingly for the good of the State and 
neglected her own health in its service, she could 
yet indulge in such reckless extravagance, in the 
matter of Crown lands, as threw all her pre- 
decessors into the shade. For such is the fact. 
The budget of the Treasury in 1645 shows a 


deficit of nearly a million ; that of 1654, one of 
nearly four millions : for, while the debts in- 
creased a million and a half, the Crown claims 
decreased by more than a million. The pro- 
portion between the alienation of Crown lands by 
Gustavus Adolphus, the Kegents, and Christina 
is as 1, 2, and 4 : " the registers of her reign are 
filled with deeds of sale, infeudations, letters 
of nobility, tokens of grace, and gifts of every 
sort. She had brilliant merits to reward, some- 
times ancient wrongs to redress, and the care 
which she devoted to old or wounded soldiers 
deserves all praise." We shall presently see the 
lavish generosity with which she rewarded men 
of learning ; and not only these ; her donations 
to Magnus de la Gardie reach the incredible : he 
is said to have obtained from her landed estates 
alone to the value of 80,000 rix dollars ]jer annum. 
We may, if we like, partly explain the deficit 
stated above by referring to the Coronation 
expenses ; we may consider that the bulk of her 
gifts were to newly-created nobles, in order to 
support herself against the old aristocracy. But 
it remains after all not to be palliated. The fact 
remains that, though frugal herself to an extra- 
ordinary degree, she was possessed by a mania 
for squandering which is a great blot on her 
administration. It was the sole point in which 
she resembled her mother. She seems to have 


considered it only natural to give without stint 
to anybody at any moment ; nay, more : she 
remained throughout her life completely un- 
conscious that there was any reason why she 
should not : it never occurred to her that money 
came to an end. Even to Count Magnus, the 
gulf into which she threw so much, she com- 
plained, with obvious surprise, that she had not 
money enough to keep up her Court. She 
exactly illustrates the remark of the Roman 
satirist^ that women never calculate accounts. 
But, on the other hand, the cause of the wretched 
condition of the country during her reign is by 
no means to be found in her lavishness, which 
was, after all, temporary ; the evil lay deeper : in 
the misery produced by the war, and the op- 
pression of the nobles. The popular instinct 
was truer. When Christina returned to Sweden 
in after years, it was not in the people, but in 
the governing classes, nobles and clergy, who 
feared for themselves and their religion, that she 
found her bitter enemies. 

Thus then for the present the storm blew 
over. Christina now turned herself to the 
carrying out of her plan. In spite of all 
obstacles, she had continually increased her 
own power, and made two steps towards her 
design of substituting Charles upon the throne. 
She now prepared to advance still further. 


The apparent calm of the Queen, and her 
continued expenditure, induced observers to 
suppose that she had some extraordinary means 
at her command of solving the difficulties : it 
was conjectured that she was nourishing the 
design of abdicating in favour of the Prince : 
it was noticed that she began to show more 
favour to the Chancellor and his party than 
heretofore, which augured a desire to stand well 
with everybody on quitting the helm of State : 
this suspicion was strengthened by her announced 
intention of making a voyage to the islands of 
Gothland and Oeland, places suited, it was 
thought, for her residence after her abdication. 
In the meantime Charles was in an ambiguous 
position. If he manifested any desire to take 
part in the government, it might easily be mis- 
interpreted; at the same time, what must have 
been his secret emotions at the thought of 
waiting so long for his accession as Christina's 
youth might give him to infer ! But, on the 
other hand, the state of the kingdom and her 
extravagant procedure mast have dulled his 
desire to take charge of the State at such a 
moment, and given him fears for the future. 
Yet his present dexterity, when contrasted with 
the real ambition of his character as it was 
afterwards displayed, proved him to have at least 
one of the qualities of greatness : the power of 


biding his time. He lived retired on the island 
of Oeland, spending his time in building, hunting, 
and kindred pursuits ; paying at the same time 
court to everybody ; occasionally writing to 
remind the Queen of his marriage proposals, 
though he began to see his hopes were herein 
not destined to be realised. 

The Queen's design was penetrated first by 
Chanut, who hastened to try and dissuade her 
from it. The Court of France was by no means 
anxious to see her replaced on the Swedish 
throne by the warlike Charles, whom it distrusted. 
In spite of his representations, however, Christina 
remained inflexible, showing to Chanut good 
reasons why to retreat was now impossible. She 
next communicated it to the Prince, who feared 
she might be testing him, and thought it best 
to endeavour to dissuade her from her intention. 
Christina finally (in October) disclosed it to the 
Grand Marshal and the Chancellor, telling them 
to bid the Prince come and make his prepara- 
tions for assuming the government. In reply, he 
bade them do all they could to turn her from 
her purpose, and continue a reign so beneficial to 
the country ; he never wished for himself to be 
anything but her dutiful subject. In spite of all 
remonstrances, however, the Queen, on October 
25, 1651, declared in full Senate her determina- 
tion to resign the Crown in favour of the Prince, 


and retire into private life. She told them that 
after mature reflection on a point of such im- 
portance she could find no better means than 
this of providing for the safety of the State and 
the repose of the people, who wished to see the 
succession secured by the birth of heirs to the 
throne ; as she was firmly resolved never to 
marry, the Prince being once declared king 
would be obliged to take a wife, and the children 
born to him would deliver the nation from the 
fear it had of the evils usually accompanying 
the elections of kings. The Senators vainly 
endeavoured to bend her will by representing 
to her that God had given them a queen, and 
that as long as God preserved her life they 
would acknowledge no one else ; they laid stress, 
not unreasonably, on the exhausted state of the 
finances, and the additional cost of another 
coronation and the marriage of the Prince. 
Finding her inflexible, however, it was determined 
to postpone further consideration to the ap- 
proaching Diet in February next. 

In November, notwithstanding, the Senators 
and the delegates of the Estates made a final 
effort to overcome her resistance. They went 
in a body to her, Oxenstiern himself acting as 
spokesman. His eloquent appeal, directed to 
touching her heart rather than changing her 
mind, had a great effect upon her ; she agreed to 


revoke her determination, upon the condition 
that nothing more was said to her on the subject 
of marriage. This was accepted ; all, including 
Prince Charles, testifying their satisfaction at 
the change. Her birthday, on which she gave 
a feast, with games, tournaments, balls, and 
amusements, afforded an opportunity of giving 
vent to the general rejoicing (which was by no 
means feigned, for the nobles feared Charles 
becoming king) ; nevertheless she told Chanut, 
that, though she had not been able to refuse this 
satisfaction to her subjects, she had not so firmly 
renounced her plan as to leave it impossible that 
she should one day return to it. 

Although Christina's attention was so much 
engaged during those years in the negotiations 
for the peace, the settlement of the succession, 
and the internal disturbances in her own king- 
dom ; although at the same time she was devoting 
herself to hard study, and taking an eager interest 
in philosophical, literary, and scientific subjects, 
which will presently be examined, she found time 
to follow closely contemporary foreign events. 
" One would have imagined," says Whitelocke in 
1653, "that England had been her native 
country, so well was she furnished with the 
character of most persons of consideration there, 
and with the story of the nation." She was no 


less interested in France and its domestic affairs. 
As we have seen, she laboured during the peace 
negotiations for a cordial understanding with 
that country : especially did she admire Conde ; 
after his victory at Nordlingen she wrote him a 
complimentary letter, which he answered in terms 
equally flattering. She did not confine herself 
to compliments : when the French wished to 
engage the troops disbanded by Sweden for the 
Spanish war, which still continued, Christina, 
although the Senate was adverse, wrote to Prince 
Charles, then in Germany, bidding him oblige the 
King of France in this. Again, still further to 
show her good will, she sent two men-of-war as 
presents, one to the Queen, and one to the Car- 
dinal, the latter called Julius, in his honour, and 
valued at 40,000 crowns. The view she took of 
the troubles of the Fronde was influenced by her 
esteem for Conde, who even wrote to demand her 
assistance, and a change is afterwards observable 
in her opinion of Mazarin. With the view of 
mediating between the belligerent parties, she 
wrote to Conde twice, to the King of France, to 
the King of Spain, to the Duke of Orleans, to 
Mademoiselle de Montpensier, to the Parliament, 
as well as to Cardinal de Ketz and Anne of 

In that to the Duke of Orleans she alludes to 
Mazarin as a stranger, who wishes to dictate the 


law and not stop till he lias ruined all. Mazarin 
was aware of lier views and resented her inter- 
ference ; some incautious expressions of her 
resident in Paris, though she afterwards disavowed 
them, increased the bad feeling, and her attempts 
at pacifying differences led to nothing. 

When we come to consider Christina's reign 
on what is perhaps its most brilliant side, we 
must beware of fallino- into the mistake of 
supposing that the sudden scientific and literary 
glitter which emanated from Sweden at this 
moment has anything in common with those 
periods in history, such as that of Pericles in 
Athens or Elizabeth in England, when the 
national activity in war is accompanied by a 
spontaneous impulse in intellectual creation. 
There was scarcely any native element in the 
specious, but factitious and imported mental 
energy of the Swedish court ; it depended almost 
entirely upon Christina's personal interest and 
patronage. She found Sweden on her accession in a 
state of intellectual darkness, into which when she 
vacated the throne it sank back, or rather from 
which it had never risen ; not that she did not 
make a great effort to promote a better condition 
of things, but the people were not able to respond 
to her attempts — in spite of here and there an 
isolated instance, which only show more plainly 
because of the general want of culture. The 



position which Sweden then occupied in Europe 
was entirely based upon military relations, and 
far greater than its internal progress, whether 
commercial, intellectual, or social, entitled it to 
hold. A glance at this will materially assist us 
in estimating Christina's own influence. 

The bad state of the finances, and the dangerous 
relation of the social strata to one another, as far 
as highest and lowest, nobles and peasantry, are 
concerned, have been already described. A 
middle class, manufacturing and commercial, 
was still in its infancy. The only good thing to 
be said for the war, that it brought Sweden into 
closer relation with the rest of Europe, and thus 
paved the way for commerce, must not be over- 
looked. Gustavus Adolphus endeavoured to 
improve it in various ways, especially in respect 
of handicrafts and manufactures ; foreign artisans, 
refugees from Holland, France, G-ermany, and 
Spain, were encouraged to come and remain by 
special privileges and exemptions ; by their 
instruction the fabrication of raw material, such 
as cotton and wool, weaving, metal and leather 
factories were improved ; the working of the 
mines in which Sweden's chief wealth lay, silver, 
iron, and especially copper, received a great impulse 
from De Geer, who came from Holland, and the 
Walloon smiths he brought with him ; this again 
acted beneficially on the manufacture of weapons 


of all kinds, wliicli formed a chief article of 
export in exchange for, e.g., salt from Portugal, 
with which Sweden was ill supplied ; some Crown 
monopolies, such as those of salt and corn, were 
withdrawn. Axel Oxenstiern's large views on 
trade have already been given, but monopolies 
and the system of guilds were the basis of the 
Swedish economical principles : " a man might 
make himself king in Sweden," said Klas 
Flemming, "but could not make himself a 
tailor." This, and the doubtful political relations, 
especially the jealousy of the Powers on the 
Baltic, stood in the way of commercial pro- 
gress ; though Sweden, in 1642, even extended 
her trade to the Delaware, on the banks of 
which was erected a Fort Christina. The trade, 
principally tobacco, was held as a monopoly by 
the State. 

The educational provision in Sweden was very 
poor. Gustavus Adolphus did what he could for 
it ; he established the University of Upsala on a 
new basis, endowed it with lands of his own, 
furnished it with a library, and sent it books from 
Germany : at Dorpat he founded a college. In 
this respect even the nobles did something ; 
during his governorship in Finland Brahe esta- 


blished various schools and a college at Abo ; 
Axel Oxenstiern, a college at Westerns; John 
Skytte, a chair of history and political philosophy 

L 2 


at Upsala ; schools were also founded by Bauer, 
Bielke, and others. Little was taught, however, 
but grammar, rhetoric, and logic, the most useless 
of all subjects to begin on ; history very scantily, 
Latin badly. Whitelocke tells us that the 
]Drofessors at Upsala were promised good salaries, 
but complained that they were not well paid. 
The library at Upsala was not as good as his own 
private one ; as he informed some of the scholars, 
" who were not well pleased therewith." He 
gave five pounds to Kavius, professor of Hebrew, 
whose pension was supposed to be 500 rix dollars, 
but he was never paid ; he frequently refers to 
the bad Latin of the students. Theology 
flourished best, though there were few men of 
liberal opinions such as Matthia?. " The Swedes," 
an ecclesiastic told Whitelocke, " generally and 
devoutly do adhere to the opinions of Luther and 
to the practice of the churches allowed by him, 
and whoever differs from them is not only looked 
upon with an evil eye, but commonly driven 
from the country." " In the seventeenth century 
it was ordered in Sweden and confirmed by 
Government, that if any Swedish subject change 
his religion, he shall be banished the kingdom, 
and lose all right of inheritance both for him- 
self and his descendants. If any bring into the 
country teachers of another religion, he shall be 
fined and banished." Koman Catholies were not 


allowed to exercise their religion in Sweden till 
1781. Just as in Scotland, to Avhicli in this 
respect Sweden was very similar, long sermons 
were the special feature of the religious service. 
The people were very superstitious ; even the 
leading clergymen believed in leagues with the 
devil and witchcraft. In Finland, where the 
inhabitants were not men, said Oxenstiern, but 
beasts, Brahe made it the necessary standard for 
a priest that he should know his catechism. 
The greatest intolerance prevailed, especially of 
Koman Catholics or Calvinists. In 1657 a 
peasant was condemned to death for railing 
against the minister of his parish. Science did 
not exist, although alchemy and astrology were 
generally practised, and the philosopher's stone 
hunted for ; any man of a little knowledge was 
regarded as a magician and atheist ; the celebrated 
Stiernhielm was accused of witchcraft for having 
burned a peasant's beard with a magnifying glass, 
and shown a clergyman a flea through it ; he 
was in danger of his life, and was only saved by 
the interposition of Christina. The odium of his 
persecutors was further excited by his patriotic 
assertion that the Swedish was more ancient than 
the Hebrew tongue. 

Especially deplorable was the condition of 
medicine : the nostrums of quacks and old wives' 
receipts were the only form of cure; no one 


studied the subject, as a living could not be made 
by it ; such doctors as there were invariably 
prescribed bleeding. The Kegents endeavoured 
to imj)rove this by importing doctors from abroad, 
who were not much better ; they established a 
school of anatomy, and tried to introduce surgery ; 
but the popular odium against dissection was so 
great that they could hardly induce any one to 
13ractise it. " There was in Sweden," said a 
certain Mornichof, " one king, one religion, and 
one doctor." 

A passage in Whitelocke is well worthy 
quoting. " He enquired how the Chancellor's 
health was, and what physicians were about him. 
Lagerfeldt said he was still sick of his ague, and 
had no physician attending him but one who had 
been a chirurgeon in the army, and who had 
some good receipts, especially for the stone, 
which agreed with the Chancellor's constitution, 
which this chirurgeon only studied and attended." 
And so it was generally in this great and large 
country. Whitelocke met with no doctor of 
physic or professed physician in any town or 
country, nor any attending the person of the 
Queen herself : but there are many good women, 
and private persons, who use to help people that 
are diseased by some ordinary known remedies." 
The question of doctors will come before us again 
with reference to Christina. In Philosophy an 


Aristotelian scholasticism, or what was worse, 
the nonsense of Eamus, dominated the schools. 

The private life was very rude ; in Upsala, 
" not above nine or ten houses were built of 
brick." Whitelocke's own house, " a fair brick 
house," was the best in the town next to the 
Queen's own ; most of them were built " of the 
bodies of great fir trees, covered with turf." The 
floors were generally not boarded, but paved with 
stone or brick ; the walls were whitewashed, 
without any decoration, even in the best houses ; 
the furniture was bad ; at dinner a sort of canopy 
was ordinarily suspended over the table, to 
prevent spiders' webs from falling into the dishes. 
The cookery was very coarse, as also was the 
language ; drinking and swearing were in- 
separable from a feast. " Thou hast preserved 
me," says Christina in her Memoirs, " from the 
vice of drunkenness, but suffered me to be infected 
with the vice of swearing by contagion ; but by 
Thy grace. Lord, I have entirely cured myself of 
it ; I am nevertheless in some sort excusable, 
because I was born in a country and an age where 
this defect reigned over both sexes alike, and 
people could not speak without swearing." 

People were not generally well off. Whitelocke 
tells us of *' a country minister's house, a very 
mean one, and his family in as mean a condition ; 
his children in torn shirts, and no other clothes 


.upon them in that bitter cold weather, and his 
wife little better furnished." During his journey 
from Gothenburg to Upsala, he and his suite 
were most miserably accommodated ; *' the gentle- 
men lay in fresh straw round about him, he 
being frolic and cheering them, and it is no 
small part of the art of government to know 
when to be familiar ; " " they could get no other 
provision but the quarters of a beast which was 
said to be found dead in the field ; Whitelocke 
commended the variety and dressing of this 
meat, and it went down with good stomachs, and 
made good meat afterwards to taste the sweeter, 
besides the delight in remembrance of it." And 
this is no isolated exception ; the same thing- 
occurs throughout his journey. 

We shall be forcibly struck with the contrast, 
when we turn from this benighted condition of 
things to examine Christina's relations with the 
literary and scientific men of her time. The 
Peace of 1648 left her at liberty to indulge her 
many-sided intellectual interests : Stockholm 
became a loadstone to draw together savans 
from all parts of Europe. 

Foremost among these was Descartes. She had 
already heard much of him from Chanut, who was 
a great friend of his, and a zealous Cartesian : in 
1646 she sent to ask him, through Chanut, his 
opinion on this question : When one makes a bad 


use of love or hate, which of those abuses is the 
worst ? Descartes, though we may suspect he knew 
as little as Bacon of the passion of love, concluded 
in his dissertation on the subject that when 
pushed to a vicious extreme, love was the most 
dangerous. She next asked him for his opinion 
on the Summiim hommi, on which he sent her 
a treatise on the question; according to him, 
external blessings being precarious, there remain 
to us two points of special importance ; to know, 
and to will, what is good : the sovereign good 
for us he places accordingly in always preserving 
a firm and constant resolution to do what ac- 
cording to our judgment is best, and endeavour 
with all our strength to discern it well. Shortly 
afterwards Christina wrote and invited him to 
come to Stockholm ; after some hesitation he 
accepted, in a letter full of hyperbole ; he wrote 
at the same time to Chanut, in which he says 
among other things (and the opinion of one who 
was so good a writer of French prose as Descartes 
is worth having), "I was surprised to see how 
easily and tersely she writes French ; our whole 
nation is much obliged to her, therefore, and it 
seems to me that this Princess has been created 
far more in the imao'e of God than other men 
have ; the more so, as she can apply herself to so 
great a variety of business at once." Neverthe- 
less, with characteristic caution, Descartes, to make 


sure of his ground, wrote to Freinslieim (whom 
Christina had made her librarian, the author of 
the ' Supplement to Livy'), and asked him 
whether, as he was the author of a new philosophy 
and a Koman Catholic, this might not be a snare 
of his enemies to do him harm. Freinsheim 
reassured him, and accordingly in October, 1649, 
he arrived at Stockholm, and was graciously 
received by Christina. The admiration was 
mutual : Descartes wrote soon after to his friend 
the Princess Elizabeth,* 

" The generosity and majesty of the Queen in 
all her actions is combined with such sweetness 
and goodness, as to make all fall in love with her ; 
she is extremely given to study, though I cannot 
say whether she will approve of my own philo- 
sophy, as she knows nothing of it as yet." He 
adds, with a touch of his usual contempt for 
learning, that this keen ardour of hers in study 
incites her principally to the study of Greek and 
the collecting of ancient books, " but perhaps this 
will change." 

The course of events furnishes an ironical 
commentary on this letter. Christina had so 
much to do that she was very avaricious of her 
time ; her ardour for study made it necessary for 
Descartes to come and see her at five o'clock 

* On whom, see an essay in Courtenay's ' Studies, Kew 
and Old.' 


every morning in lier library ; lier Greek studies 
proved to be awkward, if it be true, as is said, 
that she accused him of stealing his ideas from 
Plato. There seems to be a fatality in the 
relations between philosophers and princes. The 
early rising in a very cold climate was fatal to 
Descartes, who was fond of lying in bed in the 
mornino- • after about two months of these dis- 
cussions before sunrise, he was attacked by fever 
and inflammation of the lungs, and died on 
February 1st, 1650. But the concern Christina 
showed at his death is a sufficient refutation of 
ill-natured reports ; she was only dissuaded with 
difficulty from giving him a funeral like that of 
the ancient kings of Sweden ; although Baillet's 
assertion, that she consulted him on political 
questions, is no less foolish than the tittle-tattle 
of Madame de JMotteville, that he died because 
Christina despised his philosophy. He w^as 
buried at Stockholm ; seventeen years afterwards 
his remains were removed to Paris. Though he 
was viewed with jealousy by the f pedants at the 
Court, yet he left a few disciples in Sweden, who 
formed the nucleus of a sect ; some time after, in 
the reign of Charles XT., nearly all the professors 
of philosophy at Upsala being Cartesians, the 
adherents of Scholasticism complained to the 
King, who decided in favour of the new method. 
Christina always attributed to him a considerable 


influence in her conversion ; for this one of her 
biographers accuses her of superficiality, as, ac- 
cording to him, it is almost paradoxical that her 
Catholicism should have been induced by his scep- 
tical principles. Why, certainly, there is here 
evidence of superficiality, but it is not Christina's. 

A philosopher of a very different school was 
Gassendi, for whom, although she never met him, 
Christina always had a great admiration, but not 
greater than he deserved. In July, 1652, he 
wrote her a letter, telling her that he had heard 
of her from Bourdelot ; he congratulated her on 
realising the ideal of Plato, who refused happiness 
to the human race till kings should be philoso- 
phers, and philosophers kings. Christina an- 
swered his flattery in a letter of Avhich Malherbe 
declared that it was written in a style as pure as 
if it had been penned at the Court of Prance ; 
and throughout her life she maintained a 
correspondence with him. 

But the bulk of her admirers and proteges 
were men of learning rather than philosophy ; of 
these Salmatius, or Saumaise, was the first ; 
chiefly known now, just as Milton predicted, by 
his * Defence of the People of England,' which 
was an answer to the ' Defence of the King,' by 
Saumaise. His great reputation for learning 
made Christina anxious to bring him to Sweden ; 
she wrote him several letters to invite him : 


finally he came in the summer of 1650, and was 
lodged in the royal palace. His University of 
Ley den, however, declared that they could no 
more do without him than without the sun, and 
he returned the next year. He was a man of an 
arrogant and overbearing temper, and thought 
that no one knew anything but himself; hence 
he had many enemies, especially at the Court of 
Sweden ; there during his stay he was at variance 
with Yossius, Mcolas Heinsius, and others. He 
treated other savans, even of the first order, as 
merely of the mob in comparison with himself. 
Being one day in the library of the King of 
France, in company with Gaulmin and Maussac, 
the former said, complacently, " I think we three 
could make head against all the learning in 
Europe." Saumaise promptly replied, "Add 
yourself and Maussac to all the savans in the 
world, I will make head against the lot of you, 
alone." Even Grotius he treated with contempt. 
" One would have thought," says Bayle, " he had 
placed his throne on a heap of stones, in order 
to throw them at all that passed by." Christina 
was perfectly able to distinguish between different 
sorts of ability, and mingled her esteem for his 
learning with a certain contempt for his pedantry, 
a thing she always abhorred, though there was 
plenty at Stockholm ; she used to call him 
^^ omnium fatuorum doctisswnim^' and said of him 


that lie knew the name for a cliair in all lan- 
auao-es, but did not know how to sit down on 
one. Nevertheless, she had a regard for his 
great acquirements, and when he died, wrote a 
letter of condolence to his widow, (a shrew before 
whom the imperious scholar quailed when alive, 
and who burned all his MSS. on his death), 
rebuking her " for the homicide she had com- 
mitted on his writings." It was by Saumaise that 
Bourdelot was introduced to the Queen, and the 
savans put down her changed attitude to them 
after the arrival of the latter in part to the 
machinations of Saumaise. " Constans hie est 
oinnio" wrote Heinsius to Gronovius in 1655, 
" Salmasii et Bourdelotii opera Christinam periisse^ 
This '' periisse,'' of course, represents the view 
taken of her conduct by the Swedish Lutherans 
and disappointed pedants. 

In 1649, Isaac Vossius was invited to Sweden : 
celebrated especially for his knowledge of Greek, 
Avhich Christina studied with him, he is also 
suspected of teaching her his own views on 
religion, or irreligion, for he was supposed to be 
an atheist, which did not prevent Charles II. 
from making him Canon of Windsor : the king's 
witticism on him, when Vossius was ventilating 
some wild theories about China, "This learned 
theologian is a strange man, he believes every- 
thing but the Bible," may have been partly the 


cause of his getting tlie canoniy. He was 
certainly a man of lax principles as to meum and 
tuum, and made capital out of his commission to 
buy books for Christina's library : of which more 
anon. Nicholas Heinsius, a man of a simple 
honourable character, the editor of Ovid and 
Claudian, whose father had been much esteemed 
by Gustavus Adolphus, was also sent by Chris- 
tina into Italy to collect MSS. and books : 
Herman Conring, the author of the refutation 
of the Papal Bull already mentioned : Naudaeus, 
whom she made her librarian : John Amos 
Comenius, who was summoned by Christina to 
come and reform all the schools in the kingdom, 
in accordance with his Janua Linguariim reserrata, 
dealing with a new method of teaching languages ; 
Loccenius, and Schoeffer, his son-in-law, who 
distinguished themselves in the study of Swedish 
antiquities ; John Henry Boeder, whom she made 
Professor of Eloquence at Upsala, and the year 
after, 1650, her historiographer, were a few among 
the host of savans who crowded her Court. 
*' They came in flocks with their philology and 
antiquities, the fashionable learning of the age ,* 
displayed their arts, wrote dedications and pane- 
gyrics, in which ail the elegancies of the Latin 
tongue were brought to vie in praise of the 
Queen, presented books, were rewarded and dis- 


Of Boeder the following story is told, whicli 
throws light on the university system. In his 
lecture one day, on Tacitus, he said, " Plicra 
adderem, si iiilumhea Suecorum cajnta ista ccii:)ere 
possent ! " ("I would say more, if the leaden heads 
of Swedes could take it in ! ") One of the students 
answered immediately, " We have not only under- 
stood all you have said up to now, but we will 
understand all you can say in future." The 
lecture over, Boeder started to go through the 
antechamber of the lecture-room, when a number 
of students seized him and whipped him soundly ; 
they furthermore broke all the windows of his 
house, and discharged guns into the window^s of 
his sitting-room, where he sat wdth his family. 
Christina wrote in 1650, March 15, to order this 
matter to be sifted, and the authors severely 
punished. Boeder, however, fearing further 
outrages, applied for his conge and left ; his pay 
while a professor had been 2500 crowns a year ; 
the Queen gave him, by way of consoling him, 
a present of 4000 crowns, with a gold chain, 
and 200 ducats, besides making him perpetual 
historiographer with a yearly pension of 800 
crowns a year. To Octavio Ferrario, an Italian 
savant, she gave a chain of gold worth a thousand 
crowns, though according to him "his joy at 
receiving it was nothing in comparison with that 
caused him by the addition of a letter in her 


own handwriting." She gave Grotius copper to 
the value of 12,000 crowns ; to his widow she 
gave 3000 th. for an MS. history of the Goths 
found among his papers. Copper was a favourite 
present : she gave Chanut and Whitelocke amounts 
worth £2500; she presented Freinshein with 
500 ducats for his speech on her birthday, and 
also remitted to his native town most of its 
contributions for the indemnification of the army 
during the war. Salmasius was "overwhelmed 
with benefits " ; Conring had a pension of 1600 
th. in virtue of his title of Councillor of Sweden. 
These are specimens of her open hand : small 
wonder if she was surrounded by an eager crowd, 
with mouths open to praise her, and catch as 
well anything that might be falling. It may be 
doubted whether any sovereign ever had so many 
complimentary odes, panegyrics, and addresses 
composed in his honour as this " tenth Muse " 
and " Pallas of the North." And yet Christina 
despised flattery, and like Charles II., was never 
deceived even by those to whom she carelessly 
gave ; her donandi caeoethes was no respecter of 
persons. The parasitical crowd, when her abdi- 
cation robbed them of their means of living, felt 
like the man deprived of his goose with the 
golden eggs. 

Among other celebrated names connected with 
that of Christina may be mentioned that of 



Huet, afterwards Bishop of Avranclies, who came 
with Bochart to Sweden, and published years 
after a manuscript of Origen he had copied in 
her library. He writes to a friend in 1653 : " As 
to the Northern Queen, you must not trust the 
common portraits of her, which are libels. She 
is rather plump, one shoulder higher than the 
other; below the middle height. Her face is 
refined and pretty, her hair golden; her eyes 
flash so that she alone in Sweden might be said 
to have eyes at all. There is nothing wrong 
with her morals ; for I pay no attention to those 
rumours scattered, especially in Germany, to the 
contrary : they are all forged in Imperial work- 
shops; she carries modesty written on her face, 
and shows it by the blushes which cover it 
at an immodest word or deed before her. Her 
memory is not happy ; her genius above her sex, 
her learning above her years ; she is easy of 
access, genial, and courteous, yet tenacious of her 
majesty ; still she has nothing of the German or 
Northern gloom, but you would think she was 
born at Rome or Paris. She is very fond of 
French; this is hated by the envious Swedes. 
What Cicero says of himself may be said with 
far more justice of her, that he was not a great 
eater but a great jester; for she is abstemious, 
though a Swede, and eats sparingly, but takes 
wonderful pleasure in merry jests." 


Here we have another cause of her calumniators' 
abuse. Her laughter-loving nature was viewed 
with jaundiced eyes by the morose Puritans of 
Sweden, to whom a long and sour face was a 
necessary element in religion. A very good 
instance of her humour is a letter she wrote to 
Benserade. He had sent her his poems, which 
pleased her, and was to have come to Stockholm 
on an embassy, but did not, for some reason or 
other ; she wrote accordingly : — 

" You may bless your fortunate star, which has 
prevented you from coming to Sweden. A mind 
so delicate as yours would have caught a chill 
here, and you would have gone home with a 
spiritual cold in your head. You would have 
been all the rage in Paris with a square beard, 
the coat of a Lapp, with shoes to match, just 
back from the country of hoar frost. I can 
picture you winning the hearts of old women in 
such a costume. No, I tell you you have nothing 
to regret. What could you come to see in 
Sweden ? Our ice is the same as yours, except 
that here it lasts six months longer. And our 
summer, when it is violent, is so outrageous that 
it strikes terror into the poor flowers, which do 
their best to look like jasmine .... beware of 
deserving such an exile ; yet I could wish that 
by some crime you might incur such a punish- 
ment, in order to let us poor folks in Sweden see 

M 2 


some of France's choicest and most refined wit. 
Your verses are much appreciated here, and she 
to whom you sent them is much in your debt." 

Of a similar character is a letter to the 
Countess de Bregy : — 

" I can't tell what keeps me from using hard 
words to you, after all you have done to deserve 
them. What ! after keeping silence for two years 
do you think you can cry quits by simply ' kissing 
my hand' in your friend's letter. Eeally you 
ought at least to be scolded. Know that I am, 
so to speak, very angry with you, and that your 
silence has gone hard to wound me deeply. 
Still I pardon you, on condition you are dumb 
no longer. A jproioos of your silence, I am 
tempted to quote the Pythagoreans to you, but 
one must not speak of them to an ignoramus like 
you. So I refrain ; neither will I mention all 
the fine things I have heard of those excellent 
Longbeards, for fear of being taken for a fairy. 
Speak, then, so as to escape the suspicion of 
belonging to their order. To tell you what I 
want, send me news of your excellent Mistress, 
and your young Prince ; tell me of the con- 
versations of your circle, and the playful ways of 
the little fellow. I will have no State secrets 
from you ; when the fancy seizes me for them I 
will apply to some one else, for I believe you 
know nothing about them. In fact, were I King 


of France, I should consider you suited for quite 
other things than government, and employ you 
in a service quite distinct from that of the State. 
We women don't understand statecraft : your 
incomparable Mistress alone has shown herself 
an adept in it. This is the way to make up our 
quarrel, I commend it to you as I bid you adieu. 

" Christina." 

Other celebrities can but be cursorily alluded 
to ; Scarron, who sent her one of his comedies ; 
Balzac, who was rewarded for the present of his 
works with a gold chain ; Desmarets ; Scudery, who 
dedicated his * Alaric ' to her ; his sister, Mdlle. 
de Scudery, enjoyed a pension from Christina ; 
Mezerai, the historian, to whom she assigned one 
of 3000 florins a year ; Menage, who wrote an 
eclogue in her honour, called ' Christina,' and 
acquired a gold chain. It is from him we learn 
that in the dispute as to the relative merits of 
ancients and moderns, Christina was for the 
ancients ; speaking of philosophy, she declared 
that "les sottises anciennes valaient Men les nouvellesy 
It was to him that she made one of her wittiest 
ifiicts. She used to hold a literary assembly in her 
Academy every Thursday. " A.i that time," says 
Menage, "my assemblies were on Wednesday. 
Learning this the Queen wrote to me, ^ Ma 
Joviale est tres humble serviteur de voire Mercuriale,^ 


I have always thought," he adds, " this could not 
have come from her, it is too French for a 
stranger." But Huet avers that he had never 
known any one like Christina for the " swiftness 
of a keen and fiery wit." To these is to be added 
Pascal, who sent her his " Roulette " machine, with 
an explanatory letter ; the English painter, 
Cooper, who came to her Court; the learned 
Manasseh Ben Israel, a Portuguese Jew, a wise 
and excellent man, who offered to procure her 
Hebrew books for her library, and dedicated to 
her his work ' Conciliador.' He went to England 
and was well received by Cromwell, and perhaps 
may have had influence on that great man's 
tolerance of Jews. Cromwell's secretary, Andrew 
Marvell, wrote a panegyrical ode upon Christina, 
and Milton's eulogy, in the ' Second Defence,' is 
well known. Christina is said to have disgusted 
Saumaise by praising Milton's * Defence ' to him. 
Milton declares her in the second part " fit to 
govern not only Europe but the world." 

These names and instances, many of them men 
whose praise was worth having, are a sufficient 
proof of Christina's wide-spread fame and various 
scientific interests. Among those who adorned 
her Court were but few natives of Sweden, yet 
we must not omit Stiernhielm, a universal genius, 
'* at once philosopher, geometer, philologist and 
poet," whom she protected from the bigots of the 


day, and the two Kudbecks, father and son ; the 
latter, Olaus, celebrated especially for his 
discovery of the lymphatic vessels, and his 
' Atlantica,' a work of Northern antiquities, of 
vast learning and great value for its time, though 
its patriotic zeal was open to ridicule, as readers 
of Gibbon will remember. Other Swedish names 
there are, but of little note ; in point of fact the 
national element was conspicuous mostly for its 
absencs ; the splendour of the Court was a costly 

Christina took especial pains to collect books 
and manuscripts for her libraries, as we have 
noticed. She writes to Sarrau in April, 1651, 
who w£s negotiating to buy for her the celebrated 
De Mesmes library (the only one, says Lacroix, 
that could bear comparison with that of De Thou), 
that she fears some one may have stolen a Yarro 
wtich ought to be there, but cannot find in the 
catalogue, and bids him have an eye to it. She 
commissioned one Job Ludolphe, who knew 
twenty-two languages, to go to Rome and buy 
and bring to Sweden all MSS. relating to it 
carried thither at the Reformation, though he 
dii not succeed, as they had already been 
coQveyed to Poland. Nicolas Heinsius and 
Isiac Vossius were also sent on the same mission ; 
tie former to Italy, where he met with great 
success : " the Italians began to complain that 


ships were laden with the spoils of their libraries, 
and that all their best aids to learning were 
carried away from them to the remotest north." 
Heinsius, in a letter to the Queen, informs her 
that her name was venerated in Italy. Yossius 
went to Holland, France, and Germany, spending 
enormous sums in purchasing all the MSS. he 
could find. Her own library was much enriched 
by the sale of Mazarin's, as well as by spoils from 
various places taken in the war, as Wuizburg, 
Olmiitz, Bremen, Prague. Yossius even sold her 
his own library for 20,000 florins, reserving to 
himself the superintendence and 5000 florins a 
year, besides lodging and board at Court. " The 
Eoyal Library/' wrote Huet in 1653, " is stuffed 
full, four large rooms won't hold it." But tlie dis- 
honesty of savans such as Yossius, who abused 
the confidence of the Queen, reduced it to a 
great extent. Heinsius says, in 1654, that tlie 
French had pillaged the library, and that Yossius 
had carried off rich but scandalous spoils to 
Holland with him ; of the 762 MSS. which were 
sold after his death to the University of Leydea, 
doubtless most were Christina's. What became 
of her remaining library after her own death will 
be seen in the sequel. j 

The intellectual interests of the "Northern 
Pallas " are summed up in a letter which Naude 
wrote to Gassendi in October, 1652 : " Of the 


Queen I can say without flattery, that in the 
conversations which she often holds with MM. 
Bochart, Bourdelot, Du Fresno, and myself, she 
maintains her part better than any one of us : 
I shall not lie if I tell you that her genius is "^ 
altogether extraordinary, for she has seen, read, , 
and knows all. ... To say truth, I am some- J 
times afraid lest the common saying should be 
verified in her, that short is the life, and rare 
the old age of those who surpass the common 
limits .... don't suppose she is only learned 
in books, for she is so equally in painting, 
architecture, sculpture, medals, antiquities, and 
all curiosities : there is not a cunning workman 
in these arts but she has him fetched : there are 
as good workers in wax, enamel, engravers, 
singers, players, dancers, here as will be found 
anywhere. . . . She has a gallery of statues, 
bronze and marble, medals of gold, silver, and 
bronze, pieces of ivory, amber, coral, worked 
crystal, steel mirrors, clocks and tables, bas-reliefs 
and other things of the kind ; richer I have 
never seen even in Italy ; finally a great quantity 
of pictures ; in short her mind is open to all 
impressions." This was not more than the truth ; 
that her ardour in all these subjects was based on 
a genuine artistic taste was shown in the eager- 
ness to gain possession of her collections after 
her death. 


She has been very unfortunate, in that all her 
efforts could do little for Swedish culture, which 
did not meet her half-way. She laboured hard 
to promote the growth of learning and letters in 
Sweden. She took care to commit the various 
branches of study to the hands of learned pro- 
fessors who came from abroad. She frequently 
went to Upsala to encourage the speeches and 
dissertations ; she went, for instance, to hear 
Terserus and Stiernhielm dispute on the Hebrew 
text of Scripture. At Dorpat she built a college, 
and gave it a library; at Abo in Finland* she 
increased the college founded by her father in 
1627, and made it a University similar to that at 
Upsala, endowing it with money and books : 
during her reign six other colleges were estab- 
lished at other places. She sent books taken 
from Olmiitz and Prague to the Uciversity of 
Upsala. She aided many students to go abroad 
and study at foreign universities, and even sent 
some to Arabia to study in the East. She would 
allow no one to be doctor in philosophy who had 
not twice held open disputation on definite 
theses. She ordered, that no theological pro- 
fessor should at the same time be professor in 
philosophy. She caused a certain Dutchman to 
come and establish a good printing press in Stock- 
holm. She wrote to Forsius, enjoining him to 

* She gave the Pinns their first translation of the Bible. 


publish his physical works in Swedish rather than 
Latin, in order to be understood of the people. 

All this proves very sufficiently that Christina 
was genuinely anxious to do what in her lay to 
raise the standard of learning in Sweden, and 
worked hard to that end; was it her fault if 
she ik effected but little ? Her attempts, though 
productive of small results, have nothing what- 
ever in common with the empty self-regarding 
patronage and posing of Louis XIY. ; she never 
tried to display her learning, though it was said 
of her that she was the only learned man in 
Sweden : she never set any store by the flattery 
that was poured on her, and though the tendency 
of the age was to venerate learning too much in 
and for itself, she could despise pedantry without 
ceasing to respect knowledge. At a time when 
all the European states were engaged in revolu- 
tionary struggles or unprofitable wars, she was 
trying hard to improve her own in the arts of 
peace, which she not only gained, but preserved 
for Sweden, by her energy and persevering tact. 
And yet when she abdicated she was only twenty- 
eight ! If we except Cromwell, what contem- 
porary sovereign, or minister, is worthy to stand 
beside her ? We may candidly allow her one 
great defect, her extravagance, but it would be 
well for the world if it had always had rulers 
like Christina. 

( 172 ) 


While the rumour of Christina's strange char- 
acter and political genius, her profuse liberalities 
and patronage of learning and art, her power in 
the Senate, and her prospective resignation of her 
crown at so early an age, was turning the eyes of 
Europe curiously towards this " tenth Muse " and 
" Sibyl of the North," she was herself a prey 
to profound dissatisfaction. She began to find 
that her position involved too great a strain uj)on 
her. It is not wonderful that under such a 
weight of cares and occupations she should be on 
the point of breaking down. Frederick the 
Great was not more anxious to do everything in 
person than Christina ; she felt with her favourite 
historian that the necessities of empire demanded 
that all affairs should be referred to one head. 
But already in 1648 she had written to Salvius, 
reminding him " how arduous and subject to 
fortune was the burden of ruling all." The 
entire business of State passed through her 
hands ; ambassadors transacted their affairs with 
her personally; internal discords and domestic 
affairs demanded her continual attention, and she 
would master all the smallest details ; yet for all 


this she studied hard in private, and kept up her 
intercourse with the philosophers and men of 
learning at her court ; for this purpose she hardly- 
allowed herself sufficient sleep. In addition to 
actual business the care of providing for the 
succession weighed upon her mind. The burden 
of affairs, in itself too great, was increased ten- 
fold by her growing dislike to them; she felt 
herself to be on a treadmill ; she had nothing to 
satisfy the longings of her soul ; only by the 
severest sense of duty could she bring herself to 
perform her task. " She found no pleasure in it, 
neither did she love her country : she had no 
sympathies with its customs, its pleasures, its 
constitution, whether civil or ecclesiastical, or 
even its past history. The ceremonies of State, 
the long harangues to which she was bound to 
listen, the official duties which compelled her to 
take personal share in some great ceremonial 
observance were abhorrent to her : the range 
of cultivation and learning within which her 
countrymen were content to confine themselves, 
appeared to her contemptible." Financial diffi- 
culties were pressing ; her continuous study had 
begun to arouse a natural reaction ; the vanity 
and petty disputes of some of the pedants who 
surrounded her awoke her disgust ; she was 
heartily tired of the throne ; like Severus, she 
felt that she " had been all things, and all was of 


no avail ; " yet she could look no higher, she had 
nothing further to hope; and, finally, she stood 
alone. The only man to whom in any degree 
she opened herself, Chanut, had been replaced 
by another. 

To the disquiet of her soul must be added the 
dangerous state of her health, at once its cause 
and its effect. Christina had always been 
delicate from a child ; she was often dangerously 
ill, as in 1642, 1645 ; in 1648, the year of the 
peace, she was three times seized with fever ; in 
1650, she had a violent fever, twice, with 
symptoms of inflammation of the lungs ; in 1651, 
being on a visit to her mother at Ny coping, she 
was seized with a syncope at supper, and 
remained an hour unconscious ; these fainting 
fits became frequent; on one occasion she 
remained unconscious for some hours, her pulses 
stopped ; on reviving she told the physician that 
she had never expected to hear his voice again. 
Overwork and mental worry, aided by the ignor- 
ance of her doctors, who knew no remedy but 
bleeding, would soon have been fatal. But just 
at this moment she made the acquaintance of 

The importance of this man's subsequent 
relations with Christina makes it necessary to 
dwell upon them, all the more as they have 
been completely misrepresented and distorted by 


his enemies and Christina's biographers. His 
real name was Michon, the son of a barber at 
Sens, who became an apothecary. Young 
Michon adopted the name of his uncle, Bourdelot, 
as well as his profession, that of a doctor ; he 
went to Italy, and on his return asserted that he 
had been physician to Urban YIII., who would 
have made him a cardinal if he had stayed in 
Italy. (We are not able to judge of the truth of 
this story, but it must be recollected that in the 
seventeenth century all things were possible to 
adventurers at Kome ; and it is not intrinsically 
improbable, since Bourdelot was certainly a 
better doctor than most of those of his age, and, 
as will be seen, capable of gaining the good 
graces of princes.) He was introduced to the 
Queen by Salmasius, who, it is said, wished to 
have a friend at Court after he had gone. 
Bourdelot at once made many enemies the 
moment he arrived by banishing the former 
doctors and forbidding the Queen to have any 
further intercourse with the savans : to these 
beneficial preliminaries, he added a careful 
regulation of her diet and regimen. But he was 
not a mere curator of the body ; he possessed 
the most invaluable quality of a doctor, tact; 
and he saw that Christina's temper and mind 
had given way under the strain of work and dis- 
tasteful associations, and required tonics no less 


than her body ; he accordingly applied himself 
to curing by amusing her, which he was well 
qualified to do, having a great command of the 
smaller social accomplishments ; he had a very 
ready and satirical wit, could sing, play the 
guitar, was a connoisseur in perfumes (a neglected 
department of medicine) ; gifted, moreover, with 
a positive genius for inventing amusements ; 
fertile in expedients to make the time go ; in 
short, exactly the man suited for rescuing 
Christina from her gloomy situation. And he 
succeeded so well in his treatment that Christina 
was soon restored to health ; she frequently says 
in her letters that next to God she owed her life 
to Bourdelot ; and she preserved a lifelong 
gratitude towards him. 

He speedily acquired a great influence at the 
Court, and at the same time a numerous band of 
enemies. Chief among these were the learned 
men. And it must certainly be admitted that 
he contributed not a little to this hatred by the 
tricks which he played to some of the fraternity. 
A certain Meibomius had written a treatise on the 
music of the ancients ; and Naude, one upon their 
art of dancing. Bourdelot persuaded the Queen 
to make them give practical illustrations of their 
theories : Naude was to dance to the singing of 
Meibomius, who had no voice, and did not know 
a note of music ; the scene was ludicrous in the 


extreme ; those of the Court who were looking 
on were convulsed with laughter ; so that 
Meibomius, losing his temper not unnaturally, 
struck Bourdelot in the face, for which he was 
banished from Court. Another time, when 
Bochart was to read his ^ Phaleg,' a work on sacred 
geography, and expecting the applause of the 
Queen, Bourdelot would not allow her to be 
present, saying that she had been bled, and must 
keep her room ; the mortified author had to read 
his treatise to an audience ungraced by the 
presence of Christina. Certainly such jests as 
these prove Bourdelot to have had no special 
reverence for some of the learned pedants who 
bore him malice. But for all that the heavy 
accusations which have been brousrht aofainst 
him can all be traced to jealousy and spite, and 
will not stand examination. It was asserted by 
the doctors that Bourdelot knew nothinsr of 
medicine, and that all the senators he had treated 
died. But not to mention that no instances are 
given, and that this statement was refuted by 
the case of Christina — not to mention the incom- 
petence of those who brought the charge, and 
their envy — there is still extant a statement by 
Bourdelot of the Queen's case, and a prescription 
for its treatment, which has been pronounced by 
modern physicians to be not without merit. It 
may be added that another assertion, adduced as 


proof of his medical ignorance, namely, that he 
was of opinion that enthusiasts ought to be cured 
by exorcism, really establishes his insight into 
the nature of mental disease and its cure by the 
means of mental expectancy. It was asserted by 
the learned, that though he gave himself out for 
learned, he was very ignorant. This charge is 
completely refuted by the testimony of Naude 
himself, who mentions Bourdelot with approval 
as taking part in studies with himself and other 
■savans ; by the fact that Salmasius had a high 
opinion of him ; and by the fact that he was the 
means of introducing to Christina Pascal and 
Gassendi, although it is quite possible that he 
had not the same claims to the title of learned as 
such men as Yossius, Heinsius, and others, which 
is no disgrace. He was, moreover, much of the 
mind of Lord Bolingbroke, and considered it no 
sign of a contem})t for true learning to despise 
those who spend their whole life in collecting all 
the learned lumber that fills the head of an 
antiquary. They further asserted that, for in- 
stance in the case of Bochart and his * Phaleg,' he 
tried to prevent Christina from showing favour 
to learned men. But so far was Bourdelot from 
cherishing a grudge against Bochart that he 
procured him some Arabic MSS. to assist him in 
composing the very book in question. And 
what would a modern doctor say if, when treating 


an analogous case of nervous exhaustion, he found 
his patient besieged by a crowd of pedants ready- 
to bring on a relapse by plaguing her with inop- 
portune treatises on sacred geography ? 

But these were not Bourdelot's only enemies. 
The Queen, having Chanut no longer by her, 
and not caring for the new resident, Picques, was 
now showing much favour to Pimentelli, the 
Spanish ambassador, a point to which we shall 
return ; this aroused the keen jealousy of all the 
French at Court, who promptly accused her of 
deserting France and going over to Spain, a 
charge utterly without foundation ; hine illse 
lacrimse when they accused Bourdelot of in- 
triguing against France. They further asserted 
that Bourdelot was the cause of the disgrace of 
Count Magnus de la Gardie ; this is simply 
ridiculous, as will soon appear. The nobles, 
moreover, all hated him for his influence, as a 
foreigner and a Frenchman, and lent a ready ear 
to all accusations against him. 

The source of most of these accusations 
against him is the letters of the discarded savaiis, 
and the last part of Chanut's ' Memoires,' which 
are not to be ascribed to Chanut, but to the 
French, who were furious at being neglected, 
and caught at every scandal that might enable 
them to vent their malice. Certainly Bourdelot 
was not a man of solid character ; on this point 

N 2 


Christina's own judgment is final ; she calls him 
a man consumed with vanity (a description 
which would suit also most of the learned men) ; 
though she never forgot he had saved her life, 
she did not admire his character ; if she con- 
sidered him a marvellously clever man, that was 
no more than the truth. But the baseless 
assertion that he had great influence over her 
mind — a thing quite absurd to any one who is 
familiar with her astonishing independence of 
spirit — renders it necessary to show the futility 
of the attacks upon him. The last charge is 
principally due to the worst of all his enemies, 
the bigoted Lutheran clergy. He was supposed 
to make a jest of all religion, and to have in- 
spired Christina with his own sentiments. He 
was called by some an atheist, by others a deist — 
words in the mouth of a bigoted Protestant 
applied to all beliefs somewhat higher than his 
own. " They think a man believes not at all in 
God because he believes little in Luther," said 
a Catholic of that time. The chief authority for 
calling Bourdelot an atheist is Vossius, who was 
himself suspected of the very same thing ; in a 
letter to Heinsius he says, ^'Ait enim nullos esse 
Deos, cmlum inane, et mera esse verba virtutenif 
lucum ligna; " a charge probably made in order 
to enable Yossius to quote Horace. How much 
the charge was worth is shown by this, that 


Christina herself was accused of atheism; and, 
finally, whatever Bourdelot's own religious views 
might be, it will be proved in a subsequent 
chapter that he had absolutely nothing to do 
with Christina's change of faith. 

The true reason of the general hatred of 
Bourdelot is that, for the various reasons given 
above, he had enemies in all parties at the 
court: the doctors, the savans, the French, the 
nobles, and the clergy. When after her abdica- 
tion their doubts were changed to violent ani- 
mosity by her conversion, they were only 
too eager to try and fasten on some one whom 
they could accuse of " perverting the mind of 
their Queen, and all the good dispositions she 
had for the Protestant religion," and Bourdelot 
became their scapegoat. Among other things 
they abhorred were the festivals and masquerades, 
which Bourdelot was active in promoting, and 
it has been the traditional habit of biographers 
to frame their views of the sinful doings of her 
last years upon the accounts of the hostile 
French, the sour-visaged Swedes, and the 
Puritan Whitelocke, who though an admirable 
witness in all other matters, is not to be trusted 
here. The simplest pleasures were a crime in 
their eyes, and evidence of a desperate downfall : 
Whitelocke expelled two young men from his 
suite, and would hardly be persuaded to take 


them back, because they would go " forth to 
take the air " on Sunday, instead of going to 

The jealousy and hatred of Bourdelot took 
effect in repeated attempts to expel him. Count 
Magnus accused him to the Queen of trying 
to influence her against himself and other 
nobles : Bourdelot denied this to his face, and 
the affair dropped ; but a similar mean trick 
against another honourable man ended, as will be 
seen, in Count Magnus being disgraced. The 
nobles laid their heads together with the French 
resident Picques, to contrive some way of 
getting rid of him. Meanwhile the clergy 
determined to act. They had observed signs 
on the part of the Queen, showing disapproval 
of the national religion. For the clergy 
Christina had always shown friendliness ; Oxen- 
stiern accused her of favouring them too much. 
But various circumstances had recently changed 
their attitude. They were mortally offended 
when the learned Jew before mentioned dedi- 
cated to her his work entitled " Conciliador," 
aimed at reconciling conflicting passages in the 
Bible. Further, Matthise had published his 
*Idea Boni Ordinis,' an exposition of his 
favourite scheme of reconciling differences in 
the churches, and Christina was not only very 
intimate with him, but it was even rumoured 


that she intended to establish a theological 
college in Germany to realize this ideal. " The 
bishops called on the Council of State to keep 
watch over the national religion ; the Grand 
Chancellor repaired to the Queen with repre- 
sentations which drew tears into her eyes." Such 
criticism was not likely to improve her temper. 
Moreover, " the prolixity of those discourses, to 
which she was compelled by the national 
ordinances to listen, had long been most 
wearisome to her ; they now became intolerable. 
She frequently betrayed her impatience by 
moving her chair, or playing with her little 
dog ; but the merciless preachers were but the 
more firmly resolved to continue their lectures, 
and detain her all the longer for these marks of 

Hence the relations between Queen and Clergy 
became daily more strained. Not guessing 
what was passing in her mind, they ascribed all 
to the bad influence of Bourdelot. They there- 
fore drew up a remonstrance against him ; but 
now the question arose, who was to present it ? 
None of them daring to approach the Queen 
with their instrument, the Queen-mother, Maria 
Eleanora, undertook to do so. Under cover of 
asking permission to retire to Nykoping, she 
intimated to her daughter her distress at the 
comj)laints made by clergy and people against 


Bourdelot, and her apprehension of his bad in- 
fluence on her ; she took courage from Christina's 
silence, and was going on, when the Queen 
interrupted her by saying " she was much 
obliged for her good advice ; but these matters 
were too hard for them, and must be left to the 
priests." Maria Eleanora attempting to reply, 
Christina answered sharply, that she knew 
well who had instigated her to this, and that 
she would teach them who she was, and cause 
them to repent their imprudence. She then 
quitted the room, and left her mother alone, who 
burst into tears as usual. Two hours afterwards 
Christina was informed that she would let no one 
come near her, and was still crying. " She 
brought this unpleasant satisfaction on herself," 
answered Christina, with a fine touch of criticism 
on Maria Eleanora's character. However, ^ye 
or six hours afterwards, Christina went to see 
her, without talking of what had occurred : 
Maria Eleanora subsequently departed for 

And this impertinent interference and small- 
minded criticism of her motives has often been 
quoted as an instance of Christina's want of 
filial respect ! 

Nevertheless the odium against Bourdelot was 
so great that Christina found herself soon 
afterwards obliged to dismiss him, though he 


gave out that it was not a dismissal, but that he 
was sent on an embassy to the Court of France, 
to treat for Christina on a subject of great im- 
portance. And it is indeed stated by Gualdo 
that she sent him, being privy to her design 
of going over to Rome, and abdicating, to 
see whether she could come to France after 
resigning the crown. However that may be, 
Bourdelot departed, retaining to the last the 
confidence of Christina, who gave him letters of 
recommendation to the Court of France, as well 
as 10,000 rix dollars, and a draft for 20,000 
more, payable in six months. Prince Charles 
Gustavus gave him likewise a gold chain and 
his portrait in a box covered with diamonds ; 
and Prince Adolphus did the same to please the 
Queen, " though they both had a mortal aversion 
for him." Cardinal Mazarin preferred him 
afterwards to the Abbey of Massay in Berry, 
where he did not get on well with the monks. 
The foolish story that the Queen, shortly after- 
wards receiving a letter from him, threw it 
aside, exclaiming, " Ha ! it smells of medicine," 
is sufficiently refuted by its authority, and by 
the fact that she continued to corres23ond with 
him for the rest of her life. But it is remarkable 
that Guy Patin, the scandal-monger to whom we 
are indebted for much that is said against him, 
makes the following statement about Bourdelot 


towards the end of his life : " He says that every- 
body is ignorant, that there never was a philo- 
sopher equal to Descartes, that all the doctors of 
to-day are pedants, with their Greek and Latin, 
and that they have not the insight to try and dis- 
cover any remedies other than the popular ones." 
This is the secret of the abuse of Bourdelot ; it 
is merely what Moliere said in other words. 

We have anticipated a little in order to clear 
up Bourdelot's affairs. In the meantime the state 
of Christina's health and her distaste of business, 
arising from over-application, led her to employ 
more of her time in relaxation than formerly, and 
to vary the monotony by balls, masquerades, and 
amusements of that kind. But the accusations 
made against her, that in this last period she 
completely neglected State affairs, wasted her time 
in frivolous amusements, and showed a complete 
change in her personal and political behaviour, 
due to the influence of Bourdelot, Pimentelli, and 
others, and still more scandalous charges than 
these, are not only untrue, but in such glaring 
contradiction with facts that it is hard to under- 
stand how they can ever have been made. 
Though Christina did not study so hard, for her 
health's sake, and avoided the gang of pedants, 
she did not break off her intercourse with learned 
men of real worth ; she was moreover engaged in 
meditating over her change of faith, and the 


necessary negotiations with Rome ; and the pages 
of Chanut, Whitelocke, and the historical annals 
of those years furnish ample evidence that so far 
from neglecting business, she devoted long hours 
daily to the careful ordering of affairs, both foreign 
and domestic, and the consideration of necessary 
political questions with ambassadors. And even 
Whitelocke admits that her entertainments and 
amusements were altogether seemly and decorous, 
nor is there a particle of evidence to the contrary. 
Among her more intimate associates in the 
latter years of her reign was the Spanish ambassa- 
dor, Don Antonio Pimentelli. On his arrival in 
1652, Christina wrote to the Chancellor, bidding 
him pay special attention to his reception and see 
that nothing was wanting to make his lodging 
comfortable. Pimentelli speedily became a very 
great favourite with the Queen. It is said that at 
his first audience he made her a profound bow, and 
retired immediately, without a word. The next 
day he presented himself again, and addressed 
to her a studied and flattering discourse. There- 
upon Christina asked him the meaning of his 
withdrawing on the previous day : he replied, 
that he had been so much struck with Her 
Majesty's presence, that the interval had been 
necessary to him in order to collect himself. 
Whatever truth there may be in this story, the 
Spanish ambassador was certainly a man of great 


courtliness of demeanour and captivating address. 
Wliitelocke calls him "a man of great parts 
and ingenuity, and of a very civil deportment." 
When he came to see Whitelocke, " he fell into 
a commendation of the Queen, her singular parts 
and abilities for government and public affairs, 
excelling all women, and scarce giving place 
therein to any man he had ever met with ; and 
that she was of an admirable spirit and courage 
beyond her sex, well skilled for military affairs, 
and as fit as possibly a woman could be to lead 
an army." He was a prominent figure at her 
receptions, and possessed mucli of her confidence ; 
being one of the few to whom she communicated 
her design of becoming a Catholic. 

Two other men are worthy of notice, both of 
whom had influence at a later time on Swedish 
politics. These were Count Corfiz Ulfeld, a 
native of Denmark, and Radziejowski, a Pole, 
both political refugees. The former, the favourite 
of Christian IV., had married a daughter of that 
king by a second marriage, had been Viceroy of 
Norway, and Grand Master of the Danish Court ; 
after Christina's death his abilities and great 
influence aroused the jealousy of Frederick III., 
who sought to ruin him by bringing various false 
accusations against him ; in 1651 he fled with his 
wife in the disguise of a page to Sweden, and claimed 
the protection of Christina, which she afforded 


him. To the remonstrances of Denmark she 
pleaded a clause in the Treaty of Stettin in 1570, 
by which political refugees of the various states 
concerned were allowed to claim shelter in the 
others ; precedents were also adduced of Swedish 
refugees in Denmark in the time of Sigismund. 
Ulfeld was accused by Charles II., then in exile, 
of appropriating to his own use 24,000 dollars, 
which ought to have been paid to himself; it 
turned out, however, that so far from this being 
the case, Ulfeld had even increased that sum 
with half as much again of his own. He remained 
at Stockholm, and endeavoured to induce 
Christina to make war on his o^vn country for 
the purpose of restoring him, giving her all the 
information he could about its resources ; the war, 
however, did not come in her time. 

Similar appeals were made to her by the other 
fugitive, Radziejowski, a resolute and daring in- 
triguer, who had been Vice-Chancellor of Poland. 
Suspecting an intrigue between his wife and John 
Casimir, he had attempted to rouse ill-feeling 
against the king; his wife during his absence from 
home took refuge in a convent, whereupon Radzie- 
jowski collected a band of men and endeavoured 
to storm it ; failing in this, and feeling himself 
in danger, he fled the country, going to the 
Courts of Transylvania, and the Emperor, and 
lastly to Sweden, in 1652. Here he busied himself 


in trying to arouse the Cossacks against the King 
of Poland, and also to excite a war between that 
country and Sweden, for which purpose he be- 
trayed to Denmark the designs of Ulfeld, to 
prevent his plans from getting a start. He got 
what he wanted as soon as Charles X. came to 
the throne. 

The national hatred of Koman Catholics and the 
Imperialist and Spanish party, the distrust of 
foreign influence, and the rancour of the envious 
French have succeeded in presenting Christina's 
relations with these four men in an entirely erro- 
neous light. They are supposed to have corrupted 
her morals and perverted her policy ; it was hinted 
that Bourdelot and Pimentelli were strenuously 
working to alienate her mind from her old allies, the 
French, and substitute Spain in her good graces, 
by working on her admiration of Conde (in whose 
service Bourdelot had formerly been, and who 
was at this time in the Spanish interests), by 
commending the advantages of a commercial 
treaty with Spain, and depreciating the salt trade 
with Portugal. Pimentelli, we are told, was 
inducing her to form an alliance with Spain and 
England against Holland, and drawing her near 
to the Emperor; rumours were whispered of a 
marriage between her and the King of Hungary ; 
still darker " there-be-an-if-they-mights," " we- 
would-an-if-we-coulds," were thrown out about 


her and tlie fascinating Spanish ambassador. All 
these figments are, however, in flagrant contra- 
diction with the facts. 

, To begin with, Christina was at no time more 
closely allied with Pimentelli than other ambassa- 
dors whom she thought it necessary to conciliate 
for political reasons. The insinuations against 
him are due to his country and his religion, and 
were never directed against another ambassador 
to whom she showed equal if not greater favour, 
Sir Bulstrode Whitelocke, who was sent by 
Cromwell to Sweden in 1653 to negotiate a 
commercial treaty with England and establish 
friendly relations between the two countries. 
His first interview with Christina took place on 
December 23, 1653 : 

" He perceived the Queen sitting, at the upper 
end of the room, upon her chair of state of 
crimson velvet ... he put off his cap, and then 
the Queen put off her cap, after the fashion of 
men, and came two or three steps forward upon 
the foot carpet. This, and her being covered and 
rising from her seat, caused Whitelocke to know 
her to be the Queen, which otherwise had not 
been easy to be discerned, her habit being of 
plain grey stuff, her petticoat reaching to the 
ground, over that a jacket such as men wear, of 
the same stuff, reaching to her knees; on her 
left side, tied with crimson ribbon, she wore the 


jewel of the order of Amaranta ; her cuffs ruffled 
a la mode, no gorget or band, but a black scarf 
about her neck, tied before with a black ribbon 
as soldiers and marines sometimes use to wear ; 
her hair was braided and hung loose upon her 
head : she wore a black velvet cap lined with 
sables and turned up after the fashion of the 
country, which she used to put on and off as men 
do their hats. Her countenance was sprightly, 
but somewhat pale ; she has much of majesty in 
her demeanour, and though her person were of 
the smaller size, yet her mien and carriage were 
very noble." 

Christina took great delight in Whitelocke's 
company and humour; she would frequently 
have him to her palace, and after *^ calling for 
stools " in deference to his lameness, she would 
sit hours at a time discussing English and 
foreign affairs, not unmixed with what he calls 
" drollery." The accounts he has left us show 
what tact she would bring to bear on her 
negotiations with foreign powers. To oblige 
him, she ceased to hold balls on Sunday, as 
was customary in Sweden, which he considered 
a profanation of the Sabbath. She always 
expressed a great admiration of Cromwell, 
whom she compared to Gustavus Yasa. She 
would sometimes ride with him, and on one 
such occasion tried his pistols and her own to 


see which were the best. On February 20th, 
Valentine's Eve according to the old style, 
she gave him leave to be her Valentine, and 
wear her name in his hat ; he sent her as a 
present "a great looking-glass." It was just 
such instances of graceful humour that in 
cases other than Whitelocke's were twisted 
into scandals by malevolent calumniators. 

He describes for us the balls and festivals 
given by the Queen : " The Queen and her 
ladies would first dance the brawls, then 
French dances ; . . . she took great delight in 
English country dances, and herself danced 
with more life and spirit than the rest of the 
ladies, or any he had seen : " as well as mas- 
querades and ballets, such as that in January, 
1651, called the " triumphant Parnassus ; " 
sometimes the national costumes of Europe, 
past and present, would be represented, Christina 
appearing now as a Dutch maidservant, now 
a Moorish lady, or citizen's wife. At a 
" Banquet of the Gods " in 1651, in which 
Ulfeld, Radziejowski, Pimentelli, and Count 
Magnus appeared as Jupiter, Bacchus, Mars, 
and Apollo, she instituted her " Order of 
Amaranta." The origin of the name is obscure ; 
perhaps from the Greek " never fading ; " or a 
pastoral in which Christina was a shepherdess, 
Amarantha. The badge was a gold medal on 



which was engraved a double A, interlaced, 
with the motto " Dolce nella memorial There 
were thirty members in addition to the Queen ; 
they swore to follow Virtue and Honour, and 
had the privilege of feasting with her on 
Saturdays at a country house near Stockholm. 
One condition was that the candidate must be 
unmarried ; this must have been abrogated in 
the case of Whitelocke, who was made a 
member ; he had been married three times. 
" Pardieu, vous etes incorrigible! " said the Queen, 
when he told her. 

Her enemies fastened on this " Order," trying 
to connect it scandalously with Pimentelli, 
whose Christian name was Antonio ; a thing 
refuted by the date, when he had not as yet 
come to Sweden. They saw further evidence 
in the diamond ring she gave him, at one of 
these masques, to hold for her till she asked 
for it, when she went to change her dress ; when 
he offered it back to her, she said she had not 
asked for it yet, nor would ; he was to keep 
it in memory of her. But Whitelocke, who 
relates it, speaks of the whole thing as taking 
place " genteelly, and without the least offence 
or scandal." 

Not only are charges of this pitiful kind abso- 
lutely without foundation, but neither is there 
anything in the assertion that at this time she 


abandoned politics for frivolous amusements. A 
typical illustration is furnished by the innumer- 
able discussions between Whitelocke and herself 
respecting his mission, in which her careful 
consideration of all details is obvious. Certainly, 
there was considerable delay in settling and 
concluding it, of which Whitelocke complains. 
But he does not notice the reason for this 
delay ; his own pages furnish continual evidence 
that Christina and the Chancellor were waiting 
to see whether Cromwell could establish his 
power on a sure basis. In the meantime 
Balandine, Charles II. 's envoy, came to Sweden 
to ask assistance. Christina wrote an answer 
with her own hand, " regretting her inability to 
provide any remedy for the incurable evils of the 
age, and hoping that time which cures all things 
might put an end to his evil fortune, and 
furnish her with opportunities to assist him 
without detriment to her own interests and 
obligations." But after Cromwell became 
Protector, in December, 1653, the treaty of 
commerce progressed better : it was finally 
signed in April, 1654. On his departure, 
Christina made Whitelocke a present of raw 
copper worth £2500. 

There is no more truth in the allegations 
respecting her neglect of affairs with Spain, 
or the dark surmisings of her enemies as to 

o 'JL 


this power. There are no signs of any inclina- 
tion on her part to a treaty between Spain, 
England, and Sweden ; Pimentelli indeed spoke 
to Whitelocke on the subject, but such a treaty 
was to the taste of neither Christina nor 
Cromwell, and the idea was not entertained. 
The Queen confined herself to sending an 
ambassador to Spain, to make overtures as to a 
commercial treaty with Sweden ; this was the 
status quo when she abdicated. She showed no 
appearance of hostility to France, but assured 
Picques of her continued good will to that 

It is the same when we examine her dealings 
with the Imperial Court. Christina showed 
favour to its ambassador Montecuculi, and 
endeavoured, indeed, to conciliate Frederick III. 
by supporting the claims of his son to be elected 
King of Kome, writing for that purpose to the 
electors in April, 1653. But the motive of this 
was purely political, and had nothing to do 
with Pimentelli or Montecuculi. She aimed 
at settling the difficulties that had arisen 
about Bremen. Sweden had, it will be remem- 
bered, acquired the bishopric of Bremen by the 
treaty of Westphalia ; the present disputes 
turned upon the respective rights of the town 
and those Sweden had gained over it. There 
were also differences with Brandenburg and 


Pomerania. It is not necessary here to examine 
details; the settlement of both questions took 
place in the next reign, but the point to be 
noticed is that in order to a settlement it was 
necessary to gain the goodwill of the Emperor, 
to which accordingly Christina applied herself, 
as usual, with diplomatic skill. She had not 
time to accomplish it, but she prepared the way. 
With Holland, in spite of certain vexatious 
actions tending to injure and interfere with 
Swedish commerce, she confined herself to sharp 
remonstrances, which had their effect ; she took 
no part in the war of 1652-3, in which the Dutch 
were beaten by Cromwell, and here maintained 
her usual peace policy. As to the old enemies, 
Denmark and Poland, the prospect looked 
darker ; the jealousy and fear of the former 
country, and the irritating claims of the latter, 
were respectively complicated by Ulfeld and 
Radziejowski, each anxious to forestall the 
other in attacking his own country and en- 
forcing his rights by the help of Sweden. A 
war with these countries was merely a question 
of time ; Christina pointed to this, when, in 
answer to the protestation of Poland against the 
election of Charles Gustavus, she replied that 
her cousin would " prove which had the best 
right to the throne by the testimony of thirty 
thousand men : " a prediction verified by the 


" New Pyrrhus," as soon as he came the throne. 
For the wars of Sweden with Poland and Den- 
mark, however, not Christina was responsible, but 
the old national animosities and the fiery 
character of Charles X. 

The opposition between Christina and the 
Chancellor had arisen from, and depended 
upon, their antagonistic views of the proper 
policy to be followed in settling the affairs of 
Germany . Having gained her object in the 
Peace of Westphalia, this cause of difference 
ceased to exist, especially as she had now long 
since established her independent position. In 
view, too, of her resignation, she was desirous of 
standing well with all parties in the State ; and 
hence, as the factitious party formed by her for a 
special end, to oppose that of the Chancellor, 
began to fall to pieces, being no longer required, 
the influence of Oxenstiern and the aristocracy 
began now once more to regain its old position. 
This was agreeable to the nobles, who therefore 
strongly opposed any scheme of abdication in 
favour of Prince Charles, carefully though he 
paid his court to all ; he himself, on the other 
hand, and the generals of the army, who looked 
forward to a war, were prepared to support it. To 
these belonged Count Magnus, who depended 
either on the Queen or the Prince, and was hated 
by the nobles for his connection with France. His 


position was now becoming ambiguous. Chris- 
tina's new relations with Pimentelli, and the 
comparative shelving of himself and the French, 
as he thought, gave him cause for great un- 
easiness. He began to suspect his favour was 
declining, and sought to remedy this by expos- 
tulating with her, accusing her of allowing herself 
to be influenced against him by backbiters. 
His petulant suspicions irritated her to an 
extreme degree, partly because they assumed her 
capable of such meanness, partly because they 
seemed to imply he had claims upon her. In 
spite of all that has been said to her disadvantage, 
there is not the shadow of a proof that she ever 
regarded him from any other point of view than 
that of a patron, and the summary way she 
dismissed him, as one of her biographers has said, 
is clear evidence that she never was anything 
else to him. The base character of De la Gardie, 
who never lost a chance of damaging her after- 
wards, would have caught at any straw in his 
power to blacken her reputation in order to save 
his own. During the whole time he was in 
favour, he was not two years in all at Court ; 
and the facts now to be related will show that 
Christina saw through him long before the crash 
came, through his own folly. 

Already, as has been noticed, the Count fixed 
his suspicions on Bourdelot as the author of his 


declining influence; he complained to the 
Queen of him, who told him she did not believe 
him ; and Bourdelot himself happening to come 
by, " told her Majesty that he knew well he had 
many enemies at Court, who endeavoured to 
ruin him in the opinion of the great, but that no 
one would ever be able to prove that he had 
spoken to any one's detriment." The Count 
produced two witnesses ; but in the presence of 
the Queen they did not dare to charge Bourdelot 
to his face with their accusations, and the Queen 
declared they were impostors. She forbade them 
to appear again in her sight, saying " they were 
all French, and creatures of the Count." 

Finding that he had only done himself harm 
by this attempt, De la Gardie demanded per- 
mission to retire from Stockholm to his country 
house, which the Queen refused, telling him that 
his presence was necessary on business (he was 
Grand Treasurer at the time). Soon after this 
the Count finally ruined himself by a somewhat 
similar endeavour. 

Having to speak to the Queen, on matters 
connected with the state of the finances, one 
day after a meeting of the Senate she re- 
tained him alone with her. The Count imme- 
diately began to harangue her on her present 
misinterpretation of his sentiments, and re- 
gretted that she should have complained of 


him, saying " that he had acted treacherously 
towards her, but that she would not punish him 
for his bad faith herself, but leave it to the 
Prince to do so ; yet would not be displeased 
should others affront him ; " this he said he had 
learned from some one very near her Majesty's 
person, who told him he had it from her 
Majesty's own mouth. The Queen, much sur- 
prised, told him he ought to know her better 
than to suppose her capable of such a thing, . . . 
and she bade him tell her who was his informant. 
He said it was Steinberg, her chief Equerry. " I 
cannot believe it," said the Queen, " he is a man 
of too much honour to tell such lies." She averred 
that if Steinberg allowed he had said it, she 
would admit having made the complaint. Ac- 
cordingly, Steinberg and some senators were 
summoned from the antechamber by the Queen 
herself, who told him what the Count had said, 
and bade him say whether he acknowledged it. 
Steinberg replied he was astonished that Count 
Magnus, for whom he had always had respect and 
affection, should calumniate him to the Queen 
and seek his ruin in this way ; he solemnly swore 
he had never heard her Majesty say any such 
thing. . . . The Queen, satisfied with Steinberg's 
disavowal, and feeling pity for the Count, did 
not wish to proceed any further in the matter ; 
but Steinberg considered it concerned his own 


honour to know who had told this to the Count, 
and the Queen approved his judgment, not sorry 
to see that he wished to sift the matter, as she 
was beginning to get tired of the Count's re- 
peated attempts to prejudice her against others. 
Accordingly Steinberg went to the Count's 
house, and begged him to give him the name of 
the person who had slandered him ; the Count, 
with profuse apologies, said he was quite willing 
to take his word for it, that his informant was a 
rascal. This did not satisfy Steinberg, but as he 
could not induce De la Cardie to disclose his 
authority, he went to the Queen to beg her to 
interfere. Christina sent Prince Adolphus to 
require the Count to give his informant's name ; 
but the latter begged to decline to do so, as he 
had promised to keep his name a secret. The 
Queen sent the Prince to him again, telling him 
that he must ; she had taken upon her to defend 
Steinberg's honour. Count Magnus thereupon 
declared, after deprecating any disgrace for him, 
that it was Schlippenbach, Colonel and Grand 
SeneschrJ at Stockholm. The Queen bade him 
write to him, as she would herself, to come to 
Upsala. " The Count wrote him a rigmarole 
which no one could understand." Schlippenbach 
came immediately ; the day after the Count sent 
him four friends to ask him whether he would 
not maintain that Steinberg had said the thing. 


He said positively, " No ; he saw well that they 
were trying to ruin him ; but he would speak 
the truth to her Majesty, and show himself a 
man of honour." On December 18, the Queen 
summoned Schlippenbach, Count Magnus, Stein- 
berg, the senators, and the other chief men in 
the Court, who had been present before. She 
made a speech on the whole question, and told 
the Count to restate the matter alleged to have 
come from Schlippenbach ; she then took the 
latter by the button of his doublet, and said to 
him, " Understand that I am prepared to own it, if 
Steinberg says I said it." Slippenbach answered, 
that he did not know what Count Magnus meant ; 
that he had never told him what he alleged ; 
that Steinberg had never spoken to him of it, 
nor he himself to the Count, of Steinberg : 
except that once, dining with the Count, he had 
said to him, that it was obvious the Queen no 
longer had the same esteem for him as formerly, 
and that Steinberg was in great favour ; on 
which point the Count had often spoken to him, 
as a thing he could not bear. The Count 
thereupon told him he was a rascal, and lied like 
a Schelm. Schlippenbach answered he was him- 
self a man of honour, but as to the Count, 
he was not acting like an honourable man. 
The Count said it was true there were no 
witnesses, because the affair had taken place in 


private : Schlippenbach protested he had never 
spoken to him tete-a-tete, on which the Count 
fell into great confusion. The Queen, taking 
pity on him, said this was a matter which did 
not concern her, and withdrew. The Count sent 
to beg permission to bring Schlippenbach to 
justice : the Queen replied, such a course would 
only end iu his own confusion. After dinner 
on the same day, the Count, through Prince 
Adolphus, begged her to let him go into the 
country to settle his domestic affairs, not to 
suffer Schlippenbach at the Court, and not to 
speak of the matter to his disadvantage. The 
Queen, astonished at these demands, sent to him 
to say, she not only permitted but ordered him 
to leave town, and go wherever he chose, except 
to her Court, to which he was not to return till 
he had cleared himself to his honour ; as for 
Schlippenbach, she could not think of it ; as 
to his third demand, he might console himself 
in his disgrace by the thought that, had she 
not retained some goodwill towards him, severer 
measures would have been used ; all she could 
do for him was to pity his self-inflicted mis- 
fortune. The Count, though he ought to have 
gone that evening, waited till the next day, in 
hopes she might relent ; finding she did not, 
he sent her a letter by Prince Adolphus, which 
she read twice, saying each time, " Poor Count I " 


She sent no answer, and the Count departed 
on the following day to a country house ten 
leagues from Stockholm. He was dissuaded 
from challenging Schlippenbach by the repre- 
sentations of the nobles, that being the fifth 
man in the Senate, the inequality of rank 
forbade it. Subsequently he wrote to the Queen, 
and received the following crushing reply : — 

" Sir, 

"As you express a wish to see me again 
after your disgrace, I am obliged to tell you 
how opposed this wish is to your advantage ; 
and I write this letter to remind you of the 
reasons which prevent me from listening to it, 
and which ought to convince you, too, that the 
interview is useless to your repose. It is not 
for me to bring remedies for your misfortune : 
it is to yourself you must look for the reparation 
of your honour. What can you hope from me ? 
or what can I do, except pity you and blame 
you? The friendship I had for you compels 
me to do both ; and whatever indulgence I have 
had for you, I cannot, without giving myself 
the lie, pardon you the crime you have com- 
mitted against yourself. Do not imagine I am 
angry with you — I assure you I am not. I am 
henceforth incapable of feeling any other senti- 
ment for you than that of pity, which can do 


you no good, since you have yourself rendered 
useless the sentiments of goodwill I had for 
you. You are unworthy by your own confession, 
and you have yourself pronounced the decree 
of your banishment in the sight of several 
persons of rank who were present. I have 
confirmed this decree because I found it just, 
and I am not ready to undo it, as you are given 
to suppose. After what you have done and 
suifered, dare you show yourself to me? You 
make me feel ashamed when I think how many 
base actions you have stooped to, how often you 
have submitted to those whom you have so 
grievously injured. In this unfortunate affair, 
no spark of magnanimity or generosity has 
appeared in your conduct. Were I capable of 
repenting, I should regret having ever con- 
tracted a friendship with a soul so feeble as 
yours ; but this weakness is unworthy of me, 
and, having always acted as reason dictated, I 
ought not to blame the veil I have thrown 
over the course of events. I would have pre- 
served this all my life had not your imprudence 
compelled me to declare myself against you. 
Honour compels me to do it openly, and justice 
forces it upon me. I have done too much for 
you these nine years, in that I have always 
blindly taken your part against all. But now 
that you abandon your dearest interests, I am 


released from all further care of them. You 
have yourself betrayed a secret ivliich I had 
resolved to keep all my life^ hy showing that you 
were unworthy of the fortune I huilt for you* If 
you are determined to hear my reproaches, you 
can come to me ; I consent on this condition. 
But do not hope that tears or submission will 
ever force me to yield a hair's-breadth. The 
only favour I can do for you is to remember 
you but little, and speak of you less; being 
determined never to mention you except to 
blame you. For I ought to show you that you 
are unworthy of my esteem after a fault like 
yours. That is all I had to do for you. Re- 
member, however, that you are yourself to blame 
for what has occurred to your disgrace, and that 
I am just towards you as I always will be for all 
the world. 

" Christina. 

" Upsala, Dec. 5, 1653." 

Throughout the whole of this narration the 
native baseness of the Count is clearly seen. 
And when we remember that the Count's house- 
hold were nearly all French, and that he was 
especially connected with the French interests, 
we have the solution of many a slander directed 
against the Queen in later years. Even he did 
not venture to apply again to Christina directly, 
* The Italics are ours. 


but great efforts were made by his friends to 
revoke her decision. Prince Charles wrote in 
his behalf, but Christina sent him an account of 
the transaction, and remained inflexible. Count 
Magnus actually applied to his old enemy the 
Chancellor, to get him to use his reviving 
influence with Christina ; to which appeal Oxen- 
stiern retorted, it is said, by quoting the words 
De la Gardie had in his sunny days used of the 
Chancellor, "that he doted, being already in his 
second childhood, and no longer capable of 
giving counsel," at the same time bidding him 
observe that he could now do nothing for him 
but bewail his misfortune. To the Queen, who 
wrote to appeal to his judgment, Oxenstiern 
replied that he approved her action, yet was 
inclined to mercy ; to his son Eric he described 
the Count as having brought it on himself, and 
as little capable of supporting bad as good 
fortune. Although the Senate interceded for 
him, Christina refused to alter her resolution ; 
saying that on his accession the Prince might do 
what he liked, but that she did not wish to hear 
of him again. Count Magnus took the mean 
revenge of testifying his joy when he heard of 
her resolution to resign, and expected that 
Charles would restore him to favour as soon as 
he came to the throne ; but the latter declared 
that his gratitude to Christina would never 


permit him to let any person approach him who 
had been in her bad graces. Notwithstanding, 
the Count did return, and was foremost in 
thwarting all Christina's wishes and projects in 
later years, as will be seen. He lived to display 
his baseness on a grander stage by taking bribes 
from Louis XIV., as Chancellor of Sweden, and 
contributing largely to the downfall and degra- 
dation of his country ; but Nemesis overtook 
him under Charles XI. The state in which he 
closed his contemptible and consistent career is 
an ironical commentary on its brilliant outset, 
and furnishes an edifying instance of retri- 
butive justice such as history does not often 

On more than one occasion Christina's life was 
in danger, and in every case she displayed the 
same cool courage and presence of mind. In 
1647, in the Castle Church, a lunatic seized the 
moment when the congregation was kneeling 
after the sermon was over, to rush into the 
elevated gallery w^here she was, and got within 
two steps of her ; quite unmoved, she rose, and 
pushed her Captain of the Guards, who seized 
him by the hair. It was doubtful what the 
man's intentions were ; two knives were found on 
him ; however that may be, the incident showed 
the steadiness of the Queen's nerves. In June, 



1652, she went at four in the morning to inspect 
the fleet which was being fitted up at Stockholm. 
While Admiral Herman Fleming was showing 
her a new ship, they were standing together on a 
plank ; it suddenly tilted up, and the Admiral 
fell into the sea, in very deep water, dragging 
the Queen after him ; fortunately her Equerry, 
Steinberg, being close by, jumped in just in time 
to seize her by the skirt of her dress, only just 
visible, as the Admiral, who had sunk, was 
clutching hold of her petticoats. Several people 
hurried up, and succeeded in getting her on 
board. Though she had fallen in head first and 
swallowed a lot of water, she was no sooner pulled 
out than she bade them save the Admiral, who was 
still grasping her clothes. So far from blaming 
him for this, she praised him, as he would cer- 
tainly have been drowned if he had not. She 
was moreover, she said, used to drinking cold 
water, only not salt and dirty ; but the Admiral, 
she maliciously added, must have found the 
change from beer and wine unpleasant. She 
made no fuss about it, and dined in public as if 
nothing had happened. 

An equally great danger of a different kind 
threatened her in the conspiracy of the Messenii. 
The discontent, suppressed in 1650, continued to 
burn the keener on that account in certain 
democratic breasts. One of these was Arnold 


Messenius, son of the old John Messenius, who 
after an imprisonment of twenty years in the icy 
Uleaborg, during which time he still worked 
unweariedly at his * Scandia illustrata,' died in 
1636. Of him Oxenstiern said, that natures 
such as his should be treated like fire, which we 
must furnish with material to feed upon, to 
prevent it from turning to do evil. His son 
Arnold, fourteen years in prison with his father, 
had been released by Christina, who made him 
her historiographer and raised him to the nobility 
with a pension. The loss of a lawsuit against his 
sister, in which Christina compelled him to make 
restitution, turned him into an enemy, and he 
swore to plot the ruin of the Queen ; building 
upon the popular discontent and the ambition of 
Charles Gustavus. The imprudence of his son, 
a youth of twenty, who had been page to the 
Prince, caused the design to be discovered in the 
following manner : In December, 1651, Charles, 
who continued to reside at Oeland, received an 
anonymous seditious pamphlet, afterwards traced 
to the young Messenius, in which the Queen was 
accused of ruining the kingdom by her extrava- 
gant expenses, feasts, and donations to foreigners ; 
of being wholly under the influence of the Chan- 
cellor, the High Constable, and Count Magnus, 
who aimed at excluding the Prince from the 
government, and wishing to poison him. He was 

p 2 


summoned to take arms, murder ttie Queen and 
her advisers, and possess himself of the throne ; 
the people of Stockholm, of the country, and the 
lesser nobility would rise in his favour. The 
Prince sent the pamphlet to the Queen, with a 
letter expressing his uneasiness. In the meantime 
news of the conspiracy had reached her from 
other sources. " She heard of it in the evening 
just as she was about to go to bed. Shortly 
after appeared Grovernor Fleming, bringing the 
intelligence she had already heard, through 
some one who had betrayed the conspirators. 
The Queen, who was a very fearless and discreet 
princess, stood and looked very quietly at 
Fleming, and after considering a short time, 
replied, * What you say. Lord Herman, is well 
judged, but what say you of the hereditary 
prince ? For I know maybe more than you, I 
know that they have communicated their 
damnatory projects to the Prince. You who are 
in his confidence, what think you of it ? ' Lord 
Herman answered, * It is very possible : but 
what I know for certain is, that his Koyal 
Highness does not bite the hook.' Then the 
Queen said to Lord Herman, ' In order to get 
exact knowledge of all the conspirators, we must 
let the matter come to a rising, and have them 
all together on the stage, before we drop the 
curtain, and have them all in the trap. We may 


well see a fray of it, but I with my people fear 
the issue not a jot.' Lord Herman had enough to 
do to draw the Queen from this daring and bloody 
idea, assuring her that all would yet come to her 
knowledge, and the matter be quashed without 
noise. The most notable circumstance was that just 
so much time as an express takes to go to Oeland 
and return at the utmost speed, elapsed between 
the Queen's conversation with Governor Fleming 
and the arrival of the Prince's letter to the Queen 
informing her of the audacious designs of the 
Messenii." It is perhaps still more notable that 
" subsequently the Queen changed her mind and 
did not wish to know all." The Messenii were 
executed. Their confessions implicated many 
other persons, but it was found unadvisable 
to push things too far, as the revelations 
pointed to things that it was better not to know, 
and persons whose punishment would not have 
been easy. Among others, Terserus,Ni]s Nilson, 
Burgomaster of Stockholm, Benedict Skytte, 
senator, son of the John Skytte, the leader of the 
democratic party in the preceding reign, and the 
great enemy of Oxenstiern, were accused, but 
acquitted. The records of the trial were destroyed 
by the Queen's orders. 

( 214 ) 


On January 21, 1653, Christina sent for Wliite- 
locke, and drawing her stool nearer to him, said, 
'* I shall surprise you with something I intend to 
communicate to you, but it must be under 

Whitelocke : " Madam, we that have been 
versed in the affairs of England, do not use to be 
surprised with the discourse of a young lady." 

The Queen : " Sir, this it is. I have it in my 
thoughts and resolution to quit the Crown of 

Whitelocke : " I suppose your Majesty is 
pleased only to droll with your humble servant ? " 

The Queen : " It is my love to the people 
which causeth me to think of providing a better 
governor for them than a poor woman can be. 
And it is somewhat of love to myself, to please 
my own fancy by private retirement." 

Whitelocke : " With your Majesty's leave, 1 
shall tell you a story of an old English 
gentleman " [who was persuaded to hand over his 
estate during his lifetime to his son : all things 
being prepared for signing the agreement]. " The 
father, as is much used, was taking tobacco in 


the better room, the parlour, where his rheum 
caused him to spit much, which offended the son ; 
and because there was much company, he 
desired his father to take the tobacco in the 
kitchen, and to spit there, which he obeyed. 
All things being ready, the son calls his father 
to come and seal the writings. The father 
said his mind was changed. . . . because he 
was resolved to spit in the parlour as long as 
he lived. And so I hope will a wise young 

The Queen : " Your story is very apt to our 
purpose, and the application proper to keep the 
crown upon my head as long as I live ; but to be 
quit of it, rather than to keep it, I shall think to 
be to spit in the parlour." 

Christina's determination to abdicate was so 
closely connected with her change of faith, that 
a full examination of her motives has been 
postponed till now, although in strictness it was 
necessary for the proper understanding of her 
previous conduct. At the time of the conversation 
with Whitelocke the rumour of her intended 
abdication had got about, and was causing much 
disquiet in Swedish political circles. She did not 
tell Whitelocke, however, her real reason, and 
few people had any knowledge of what was 
passing in her mind ; of these few, one was 
Chanut. In January, 1654, being at that time 


ambassador at the Hague, he wrote to her 
endeavouring to dissuade her. Christina sent 
him the following reply : — 

" Westeras, Feb. 28, 1654. 
"I have told you before the reasons which 
have obliged me to persist in my design of 
abdicating. You know that this fancy has lasted 
long with me, and it is only after having 
pondered on it for eight years that I have deter- 
mined to carry it out. It is at least five since I 
informed you of my purpose, and I then saw 
that it was only your sincere regard and the 
interest you took in my fortunes that compelled 
you to oppose me, in spite of the reasons you 
could not condemn, however keenly you set 
yourself to dissuade me. It pleased me to see 
that you found nothing in the thought that was 
unworthy of me. You know what I told you on 
this matter, the last time I had the satisfaction 
of conversing with you about it. In so long a 
course of time nothing has happened to alter me. 
I have determined all my actions with reference 
to this end, and have brought them to this final 
point, without hesitating now that I am ready to 
finish my part, and go behind the curtain. I 
care not as to the Plaudite. I know that the 
scenes I have played in could not have been 
composed according to the ordinary dramatic 


laws. With difficulty will any strong, masculine, 
or vigorous touches therein please. I leave it to 
every man to judge it according to his lights : I 
can deprive no one of his liberty herein, nor 
would I even if I could. I know that there are 
few who will pass a favourable criticism on it, 
and I am convinced that you will be of those 
few. The rest are ignorant of my reasons and 
my humour, since I have never declared myself to 
any one except you, and one other friend, whose 
soul is great and elevated enough to judge it as 
you do. Sufficit unus, sufficit nullus. I despise the 
rest, and should do honour to any one of the herd 
whom I should find ridiculous enough to amuse 
myself with. Those who consider this action in 
the light of common every-day maxims, will doubt- 
less condemn it, but I will never take the trouble 
to make my apology to them. And in the 
fulness of the leisure w^hich I am preparing for 
myself, I shall never be idle enough to remember 
them. I shall pass it in examining my past life 
and correcting my errors without either astonish- 
ment or repentance. What pleasure shall I not 
find in recollecting that I have joyfully done 
good to humanity, and punished those that 
deserved punishment. I shall find consolation 
in never having made any person guilty who 
was not so already, and even in having spared those 
who were. I have placed the welfare of the 


State above all other considerations, I have 
sacrificed all cheerfully to its interests, and have 
nothing to reproach myself with in its adminis- 
tration. I have possessed without pride, and 
resign without difficulty. After all this, do not 
fear for me. I am in safety, and my good is not 
in Fortune's power: I am happy, whatever 
occurs : 

Sum tamen, superi, felix : nullique potestas 
Hoc auferre Deo. 

" Aye, I am so, more than any one, and will 
always be : I have no fear of that Providence of 
which you speak to me. Omnia sunt propitia. 
Let Providence take it upon itself to settle my 
fortunes, and I will submit with that respect and 
resignation which I owe to its decrees : let it 
leave the direction of my conduct to myself, and 
I will employ any such faculties as have been 
granted to me in making myself happy. And I 
shall be so as long as I am persuaded that I 
have nothing to fear from God or man. I shall 
employ all the rest of my life in familiarising 
myself with these thoughts, in fortifying my soul, 
and observing from the haven the troubles of 
those who are tossed about in life by the storms 
that one suffers therein, for want of having 
applied their minds to these meditations. Am I 
not to be envied in my present condition? 


Beyond doubt I should find many enviers if my 
happiness were known. You love me, however, 
well enough not to envy me, and I deserve it, 
since I am honest enough to admit that I have 
got some of these sentiments from you : I learned 
them in conversations with you, and I hope to 
cultivate them some day with you during my 
leisure. I am certain that you cannot break your 
word, and will not cease in these altered circum- 
stances to remain my friend, since I am abandon- 
ing nothing that is worthy of your regard. I will, 
in whatever condition I may be found, preserve 
my friendship for you ; and you will see that no 
changes will ever be able to alter the views in 
which I glory. You know all this, and you are 
doubtless of opinion that the best pledge I can 
give you of myself is to tell you that I will 
always be 

" Christina." 

In answer to this Chanut wrote expressing his 
approval of her resolve, yet reminding her that 
the world holds as defects those virtues it is 
incapable of noticing: he promises always to 
bear her witness that her first and strongest 
motive has been the good of her subjects and the 
safety of the State ; yet the stroke is so bold 
that it will astonish all those who do not know 
that the retreat which her Majesty is preparing 


for herself is greater than all the kingdoms of 
the earth. 

This * retreat ' is not merely an allusion to her 
intention of becoming a Catholic ; it has a deeper 
meaning, which will become clear as we proceed. 
Some passages in Christina's 'Life' of herself 
will furnish the best starting-point. This strange 
fragment of autobiography is a kind of confession : 
it is addressed to the Deity, and reminds us of 
nothing so much as the ' Confessions ' of S. Augus- 
tine. " This heart was Thine since it first beat 
in my breast ; . . . . nothing can content me, 
nothing satisfy me, but Thou alone." Through- 
out, its spirit is analogous to that of a mystic 
quietism, and subjection of the individuality to 
the Divine will, which recalls Madame de Guion. 
" After the grace Thou hast shown me in intro- 
ducing me to that admirable and mysterious 
solitude, where we neither seek nor find anything 
but Thee ; " . . . " Thou art all, and I am 
nothing ; " . . . " Make me worthy to possess 
Thee by that blind and entire resignation, which 
is Thy due." With this is combined a dislike 
to forms and common notions of religion. " All 
the respect, admiration, and love which I have 
had all my life for Thee, Lord, never hindered 
me from being incredulous and little inclined to 
devotions ; I believed nothing of the religion in 
which I was brought up. All that they told me 


seemed to me unworthy of You. I thoup^lit that 
men made You speak after their fashion, and 
that they wished to deceive me, and frighten me, 
so as to govern me in their own way. I hated 
mortally the long and frequent sermons of the 
Lutherans ; but I knew that I must let them 
speak, and have patience, and conceal my secret 
thoughts. But when I was grown up a little, I 
formed a sort of religion in my fashion, whilst 
waiting for that Thou hast inspired me with, 
towards which I had naturally so strong an 
inclination. Thou knowest how often, in a lan- 
guage unknown to common persons, I have 
prayed to be lightened by Thy grace ; how I 
made Thee a vow to obey Thee at the expense of 
my life and my fortune." 

The peculiarity of her religious views finds its 
explanation in her character and the influences 
brought to bear on it during her education. 
She was naturally very reflective, and very 
secret; having lost her father, and being de- 
prived of her mother very early, she was thrown 
back upon herself. Conversations preserved by 
Chanut show, too, that there was never any 
sympathy on religious subjects between her and 
Maria Eleanora, who could see no point of view 
but her own. The peculiar isolation of her 
position increased her natural bent to secrecy, 
and she early framed a sort of religion of her 


own. The influence of Mattliise, whose great 
idea was a neglect of non-essential distinctions, 
prevented her from imbibing Lutheranism, to 
which she had, besides, an instinctive dislike : 
*' I was never a Lutheran," she says herself 
Between the general Lutheranism, the Calvinism 
of her uncle's house, and Matthise's syncretism, 
she became impressed with liberal opinions as to 
dogma, and all through her life she showed a 
toleration and a strong aversion to persecution, 
whether of Catholics at the beginning or of 
Protestants at the end, rare in that age. The 
point of contact between her own private, and as 
yet undefined, opinions, and Koman Catholicism, 
was almost certainly the idea of self-abnegation, 
especially as illustrated in abstaining from 
marriage. We have already mentioned her de- 
light at hearing of the celibacy of the Catholics, 
w^hen a child. The independence of her charac- 
ter made this " dedication of herself to Heaven " 
irresistible. Thus the attraction of the Church 
of Kome found a powerful support in her mind 
at the very outset. 

But she did not arrive at her later half-Catho- 
lic, half-mystical doctrines all at once. The 
tendency of her early associations was increased 
by her studies, and the influence of the two 
most remarkable men with whom she came in 
contact. Chanut and Descartes. As to the first. 


she combined a strong taste for ancient philo- 
sopliy with a fondness for the Fathers of the 
Church ; while the former led her away from 
Lutheranism, the latter brought her nearer 
Kome. On the one hand, Cicero's remark that 
all religions might be false, while only one could 
be true, struck her forcibly, and as she is said to 
have been fond of Lucian, his ^ Hermotimus,' a 
practical commentary on Cicero's text, would be 
to her all that ' Bossuet's History of Protestant 
Variations ' was to Gibbon. On the other hand, 
this sceptical tendency was corrected by the 
study of the Fathers and Christian antiquity ; 
how could the mushroom sects of a day compare 
with the venerable Catholic Church, with all its 
great men, its martyrs, and, above all, its admir- 
able virgins? Over and over again, in her 
collection of ' Maxims, ' does Christina emphasise 
this point of view. 

Thus, while the cold and insufiicient appeal of 
Protestantism to her intellect was undermined 
by her scepticism, in the traditions and aesthetic 
attractions of Kome she found something that 
met her emotional needs half-way. The contact 
between her o^vq aspirations and the spirit of 
Catholicism, as she read its history, was like the 
junction of the electric coil, producing a spark ; 
she felt that the truth must, if anywhere, be 
found here. And this line of argument was con- 


firmed by her intercourse with Chanut and Des- 
cartes. Here were two men, at once the best and 
wisest she had ever seen, both Roman Catholics. 
We have no record of any conversations which 
she held with them ; but even if Christina had 
not expressly stated that she owed her con- 
version to a great extent to Descartes, we do not 
need to look far for proofs of the close connection 
between his sceptical principles and Catholicism ; 
an illustrious apologist has placed that j)osition 
on a casuistical basis in his * Grammar of 

The foolish and short-sighted assertions, due 
principally to the irritated Swedes, that Bourde- 
lot and Pimentelli were mainly instrumental in 
her change of faith, which was either altogether 
insincere, or a refuge from frivolity and atheism, 
are entirely without foundation, and have been 
partly refuted in what has been said of Bourdelot. 
Christina was neither frivolous nor an atheist ; 
further, any one who supposes that a man like 
Bourdelot would ever have influenced her any- 
how, is infinitely far from a knowledge of her 
character. But fortunately, there is another and 
final disproof : " A lie about dates," said Bentley, 
" is the easiest of all lies to disclose." Her mind 
was made up long before she ever saw either of 
them. In 1648 she fell dangerously ill of a 
fever, and " it was in this sickness," she says, " I 


made a vow to quit all and become a Catholic, 
should God preserve my life." With this agrees 
what she says in her letter to Chanut, that it was 
eight years since she thought of her design, and 
five since she spoke to him about it. And as to 
the charge that her change of faith was insincere 
or indifferent, the story of the rest of her life will 
render that assertion simply ridiculous. The 
virulent and never-ending calumny and slander 
to which she was subjected all her life long have 
done her great injustice in this way, that they 
necessarily raised her anger and disdain, and 
caused her to assume an antagonistic and, as it 
were, self-conscious attitude in her religious 
views ; there is a sort of " virtute me involvo " air 
very often in her letters, which springs really 
from her keen sense of wrong ; it gives her an 
artificial and unnatural aj)pearance which belies 
her greatly, for she was really full of honlimnie 
and kindly humour. But the mud thrown by 
her detractors has left its mark. 

The determination to change her religion im- 
plied her abdication, for she could not become a 
Catholic and remain upon the throne of Sweden ; 
legally and morally it was impossible. In 
working out her plans, the two points from which 
she started were, that she must become a Catho- 
lic, and that nothing should induce her to marry. 
The former was, she said at a later time, the 



unique foundation of the fortune of Cliarles. 
These two premisses being given, the conclusion 
was inevitable. Yet it was not without a hard 
struggle that she brought herself to resign ; just 
before she did so, her usual serenity left her, and 
she appeared pale, silent, and disturbed. Cer- 
tainly there were compensating advantages which 
lent a support to her design : she would escape 
from her cold climate and inappreciative Swedes, 
and gain in exchange the congenial atmosphere 
of Eome, Italy, and the sunny South — the pros- 
pect of wandering in new lands, and the glorious 
uncertainty of an adventurous step, were not for 
nothing to a character like hers. But the eternal 
statement of her enemies that her domestic diffi- 
culties drove her away, is not only entirely 
gratuitous, but betrays a lamentable want of in- 
sight into her nature. Christina was, like all 
her race, one who was rather attracted than re- 
pelled by danger and difficulty, and we might 
safely assert, without other evidence, that a 
motive of this kind would rather have kept her 
on the throne than forced her to leave it. But 
there is other positive evidence against it. Mr. 
Daniel Whistler, one of Whitelocke's assistants 
on the Swedish embassy, wrote to Cromwell in 
February, 1654, saying that Christina's proposed 
abdication is a puzzle to politicians, because her 
crown is not too heavy for her, and she is not 


reduced to any disagreeable extremity, except 
that want of money nearly always customary 
with generous princes ; she has no declared 
enemy, and is universally esteemed among her 
people for her liberality, her wisdom, her moder- 
ation, and her temperance. Her action, he goes 
on to say, is as difficult to penetrate as the 
meaning of Parker's prophecies — they must wait 
for the event. This sober statement by an un- 
prejudiced observer is worth all the idle decla- 
mation of her enemies, who must besides have 
read history to very little purpose, if they think 
that want of money is a sufficient reason for 
resigning a crown. 

The steps Christina took in preparing the 
execution of her plan, her refusal to marry, her 
substitution of Charles Gustavus, have been 
already related ; she now made another advance. 

The Portuguese ambassador, Don Joseph Pinto 
Pereira, who came to Sweden in 1650, could talk 
no language but his own ; his secretary, who 
served him as interpreter with the Queen, fell ill, 
and Pereira, in the interval, made use of his 
confessor, Macedo,* for the same purpose. Chris- 

* The honour of converting her has been disputed between 
Macedo and a certain Francken. Dates give the preference 
to the former: but it is to be observed, that the Jesuits 
were merely the instruments called in by Christina to com- 
plete her design, determined upon long before. This is 
apparent, not only from what has been said, bat from the 

Q 2 


tina seized the opportunity one day to inform 
Macedo that she would like to discourse with 
some one of his persuasion on private matters, if 
he could manage to bring them to Stockholm 
without writing for them, as she did not wish to 
entrust so dangerous a business to paper. The 
delighted Jesuit entered heartily into the scheme : 
they held frequent conversations in the presence 
of the unsuspecting Pereira, and it was arranged 
that Macedo should go to Eome and communicate 
with Piccolomini, General of the Order. He 
accordingly applied for leave of absence, on the 
ground that the climate did not suit him ; this, 
however, being refused, he took French leave, 
and suddenly disappeared. The ambassador 
prevailed on the Queen to send after him : but 
she took good care that he should not be caught. 
On his arrival at Rome, he found Piccolomini 
dead ; the new General, however, immediately 
selected two men suitable for the task : Francesco 
Malines, Professor of Theology at Turin, and 
Paolo Cassati, Professor of Mathematics at Rome. 
They arrived at Stockholm in March, 1652, so 
well disguised that Rosenhane, a senator, and 
Wachtmeister, Grand Equerry, with whom they 

narration of Cassati. The Queen amused them with casuistical 
questions, quite other than they expected, played with them 
a httle, and then suddenly gave in just when they thought 
themselves furthest from their ohject. 


fell in, took tliem for two Italian gentlemen 
travelling to view the country, and told the 
Queen so. Christina swiftly divined their errand 
and summoned them to Court. Seizing a favour- 
able moment, when all were leaving the dining- 
hall, she whispered to Cassati, " Perhaps you 
have letters for me ? " and he, without turning 
round, answered " Yes." She rejoined : '^ Do 
not mention them to any one." They now held 
frequent interviews w ith her, and were very much 
astonished at the questions she put them — as to 
whether there was any real distinction between 
good and evil other than utility ; of the existence 
of Providence, and the immortality of the soul ; 
in short, philosophical lemmas rather than re- 
ligious points of dispute between the churches. 
In the whole course of their efforts it is perfectly 
obvious that Christina was merely delaying a 
foregone conclusion. " What should you think," 
she suddenly asked them at a moment when they 
were inclined to despair, "if I were nearer 
becoming a Catholic than you suppose ? " " Hear- 
ing this," says Cassati, " we felt like men raised 
from the dead." She then asked whether the 
Pope could grant permission to receive the 
Lord's Supper once in the year, according to the 
Lutheran rites. He replied that he could not. 
'*Then," she exclaimed, "there is no help for 
it — I must resign the crown." 


She now sent Cassati back to Eome to prepare 
for her subsequent arrival and find out what her 
expenses might come to should she reside there ; 
just as it is probable Bourdelot had some such 
commission in France. She wrote letters to the 
Pope, Innocent X., and Cardinal Chigi by means 
of Malines. In the meantime she carefully 
13reserved silence ; the only man in Sweden who 
was privy to her design was Pimentelli, who 
kept the secret. She had indeed great reason to 
be cautious. In a country like Sweden it would 
have gone hard with her had her intention of 
becoming a Catholic been commonly known. To 
reject Lutheranism was to desert the traditions 
of her house, and a kind of national insult, for 
for which her countrymen have never forgiven 
her. She wrote ambiguously to Godeau, Bishop 
of Grasse, who had written to her expressing his 
wish that she might put the coping stone on her 
virtues by being converted, to say that what he 
wishes cannot be ; she has long been persuaded 
that what she believes is that which she ought to 
believe. And in the very month in which the 
Jesuits arrived in Sweden, she wrote to Prince 
Frederick, Landgrave of Hesse, to dissuade him 
from taking the very step she was meditating 
herself, wherein she confines herself to purely 
political grounds : 


" March 10, 1652. 

"My Cousin, 

" My reason for not breaking silence 
before was that I might not bother yon with a 
letter which will not please yon, since you will 
learn from it the rumour that is flying about here 
of the change you are meditating after the 
example of my cousin your brother, who has 
just declared himself a Roman Catholic. But 
our friendship of so many years' standing forbids 
me to keep you in ignorance of the unfavourable 
criticism all your friends are making of you in 
this matter. I think you cannot fail to notice it 
if you give it your attention, and you will easily 
judge that it is by reason of their instant request 
that I am speaking to you on the subject. They 
suppose that the influence arising from your 
friendship for me gives me sufiScient power over 
your mind to enable me to restore it to its original 
sentiments. And therefore they have begged 
me to make this last effort, hoping that it may 
be not without effect. It is then in compliance 
with their wishes and to perform the duty which 
friendship imposes on me that I write you this 
letter, begging you to reflect upon it. It is not 
for me to deal with this matter after the fashion 
of Colleges or the Chairs -of Theologians. I 
leave it to those whose business it is to discuss 
controversial points to cut their throats over the 


case at their good pleasure : it would sit ill upon 
me to preach to you on a subject so foreign to 
my profession. On this account I set aside the 
points of dispute between your Doctors and those 
of the Church of Rome. And since I am of a 
third religion, which, having discovered the 
truth, has cast away their views as false, it 
behoves me to speak to you as a neutral party, 
who will attack you on only one point, on which 
you ought to be sensitive ; and it is that of 
honour. Can you be ignorant how much converts 
are hated by those whose views they quit ? and 
do you not know, from so many illustrious 
examples, how they are despised by those whose 
side they adopt? Consider, I beg of you, how 
necessary to the reputation of a Prince is the 
belief in his constancy, and be assured that you 
are doing great wrong to your own, in making 
such a mistake. If you take all this into con- 
sideration, I feel sure you will readily disapprove 
of your design. And I do not believe you would 
wish to do that, which, in my opinion, is so likely 
to cause you to repent, a thing that would be 
irretrievable, and would leave you for the rest of 
your life an eternal remorse. . . . You see that 
I keep my word, and avoid burying myself in 
religious matters. . . . We are born for the 
Sceptre and Arms ; . . . after making our profes- 
sion so loud, it would be to profane the sanctuary 


to enter and handle the sacred objects : I must 
take care not to play the theologian." 

In Feb. 1654 she wrote her letter to Chanut : 
on the eleventh of the same month she had 
already communicated her intentions to the 
Senate; she told them that she had summoned 
them to hear what she was going to lay before 
the Diet at the next meeting, namely, her 
abdication. Though three years ago she had 
yielded to their dissuasions, she had now deter- 
mined to carry it out : for her successor they had 
Charles Gustayus, already nominated, and well 
able to supply her place. She did not fear 
criticism, her resolution was taken: she did not 
apply to them now for advice, but assistance in 
furthering the matter. The Senate, astonished 
and dismayed, made every effort to alter her 
mind, but unsuccessfully ; she said her purpose 
was fixed, and left them. On a subsequent 
meeting, four days later, she placed it before 
them again. Count Brahe opposed her with 
great vehemence, asserting it to be a desertion 
of duty, and that they who counselled her in the 
matter were rascals. Christina said he was going 
too far; there were many who would see her 
abdicate with great pleasure : she was not able to 
discover to them the true reason for the course 
she took, which, however, they would learn ere 


long. The matter was adjourned to the meeting 
of the Diet in the following May. In the 
interval Christina treated with Charles resj)ecting 
the revenues she wished to retain in her private 
condition. The ambitious Prince saw the dawn 
of his reign with secret joy, nevertheless he made 
decent but ineffectual attempts to turn her from 
her purpose. Christina at first demanded the 
absolute sovereignty and revenues of many im- 
portant towns and districts ; this, however, she 
had to forego, and content herself with a fixed 
revenue, to be submitted to the Diet. She also 
endeavoured to make further regulations for the 
succession, seeing Charles Gustavus was as yet 
unmarried, and might die without heirs ; but 
here, too, she had to give way. She is said to 
have cast her eyes for that purpose on the young 
Count Tott, whom she viewed with favour at the 
time, a descendant of Eric XIV. ; she wished to 
make him a duke, along with Brahe and Oxen- 
stiern ; but by the representations of the two 
latter she relinquished her design. 

On May 12 the Diet was held at Upsala. 
Among others, Whitelocke has left us an account 
of it, " being in an upper room or gallery, where 
he sat privately, not taken notice of by any, yet 
had the full view of the great hall where the 
Bicksdag met, and heard what was said." He 
describes the splendid appearance of this great 


hall and the entry of the four Orders. " Abont 
nine o'clock there entered at the lower end a 
plain lusty man in his boor's habit, with a stafif in 
his hand, followed by about eighty boors ; " after 
them the citizen Order, then the nobility, and 
clergy. " All being sat," came in the Queen's 
guard, the senators, the Court, and the Queen 
herself, who walked up the lane they made for 
her and took her seat " in the chair of state, all 
of massy silver, a rich cushion in it, and a 
canopy of crimson velvet richly embroidered over 
it." The Chancellor should have made the 
opening speech, but he remained silent. The 
Queen beckoned to him, and after a little speaking- 
together he returned to his place ; he would take 
no part in removing the crown from the head of 
a descendant of the house of Yasa. " The Queen 
sat down again a little time ; then rising up with 
mettle, she came forward, and with a good grace 
and confidence spake to the assembly." She told 
them that they would doubtless be astonished at 
the reason why they had been summoned, being a 
thing without precedent: but if they reflected 
upon it, they would see that it was no new resolve, 
but a thing of long premeditation. She reminded 
them of the succession assured to her cousin, and 
his eminent qualities, whom they would doubtless 
joyfully welcome to the throne ; she recalled her 
unwearied diligence and service of the state 


during the ten years of her reign, demanding 
nothing in return but that they Avould consent 
to her resolution, which was firm and ineradicable : 
and concluded with her wishes for the future 
good of the country. Her speech was answered 
by others from the Archbishop and the Grand 
Marshal, setting forth their gratitude and appro- 
bation of her reign, and praying her to give up 
her determination to abdicate. "In the last 
place stepped forward the Marshal of the Boors, a 
plain country fellow, in his clouted shoon, and all 
other habits answerable ; " " without any congees 
or ceremony at all, he spake to her Majesty : 

" ' Lord God, Madam, what do you mean to 
do ? It troubles us to hear you speak of 
forsaking those that love you so well as we do. 
Can you be better than you are ? You are 
Queen of all these countries, and if you leave 
this large kingdom, where will you get such 
another ? . . . Continue in your gears, good 
Madam, and be the forehorse as long as you live, 
and we will help you the best we can to bear 
your burden.' . . . When the boor had ended 
his speech, he waddled up to the Queen without 
any ceremony, took her by the hand and shook 
it heartily, and kissed it two or three times ; 
then turning his back to her, he pulled out of 
his pocket a foul handkerchief, and wdped the 
tears from his eyes." 


Schering Roseiiliane then read a paper in which 
the Queen reviewed her political and domestic 
relations, and invited the Estates to consider the 
allowances to be paid her. And then the Estates 
left the hall as they had come in. 

After attempting to shake her resolution once 
again, the Diet agreed to her abdication ; yet 
would not, as has been said, grant the lands \ 
demanded, but only the revenues accruing from 
them : namely, from the isles of QEland, Gothland, 
and (Esel, Wollin, Usedom, the town and castle 
of Wolgast, and some lands in Pomerania. There 
were some who wished to compel her to live in 
Sweden, and not spend these revenues out of the 
country. But Charles Gustavus opposed himself 
to this, not only to oblige Christina, but because 
he had no wish to see her remain in the kinsfdom 
on his own account. 

Some weeks before her resignation, Christina 
w^ent to Nycoping to bid farewell to her mother. 
Before the Prince, whom she summoned for this 
purpose, and the Count, she asked her pardon if 
she had not at all times shown all the respect 
and care towards her that she ouo-ht : this was 
not owing to a want of goodwill, but the result 
of certain circumstances which had tied her hands. 
She was now going to resign the crown and 
would be still less able to do anything for her 
than before ; but if her inother was going to lose 


a daugliter, slie would find a son : and slie pre- 
sented to her Charles Gustavus, and committed 
her to his care. They bade each other farewell, 
Christina firmly, but Maria Eleanora burst into 
tears. She cried all night. Christina got up 
and went to her to endeavour to console her; at 
five in the morning she returned to Upsala. 

A day or two before she abdicated, she dis- 
concerted the Senate and Charles Gustavus by 
a strange and aj)parently unaccountable action. 
She sent to the Portuo-uese resident to sav it was 
useless for him to remain in Sweden, since she 
was determined no longer to recognise the Duke 
of Braganza as king, and should always look upon 
him as a usurper. There seems to be something 
underneath this which we do not know ; but 
taking the facts as we have them, we can only 
explain the proceeding as a sort of friendly 
signal to the Spanish j)arty, in view of her forth- 
coming abdication; for it neither had, nor could 
have, any meaning in itself, nor any consequences. 
The Portuguese ambassador continued at Stock- 
holm on the same footing as before. 

At length the day came. On June 6, Chris- 
tina and the king-elect entered the Senate, and 
the Act of abdication was read, by which she 
resigned the crown for ever, herself and her 
posterity, and recognized Charles as her successor, 
provided that he maintained her rights to her 


revenues. She was tied by no conditions except 
that of doing nothing injurious to the State ; she 
was to be subject and accountable to no one, and 
was to reserve supreme power and jurisdiction 
over her domestics and the members of her 
househokl. This, and another Act, in which the 
Prince promised to observe these conditions, 
being signed, the grand officers clothed the 
Queen in her royal robes and placed the crown 
on her head ; she took in her right hand the 
Sceptre, and in her left the Golden Ball ; two 
Senators, representing the Grand Marshal and 
the Treasurer, went before her, carrying the 
Sword and the Key. In this state she entered 
the grand hall of the Castle, where all the Estates 
of the realm, the foreign ambassadors, and the 
ladies of the Court were assembled. She mounted 
the dais, and sat for the last time in the silver 
throne : behind her were her Grand Chamberlain 
and her Captain of the Guard ; on her left, the 

Schering Rosenhane then read in a loud voice 
the two Acts, which he handed respectively to the 
Queen and the Prince. Then, at a given signal, 
the grand officers came forward to receive the 
royal insignia. But Count Brahe would not take 
the crown off her head, and she had to do it 
herself. Then she removed the royal mantle, which 
was seized by the nearest spectators, and torn 


into a thousand pieces : each one wishing to carry 
away a memorial of the Queen they were never 
again to see. Divested of her royal trappings, 
Christina, no longer the Queen, stepped forward 
in a dress of plain white silk, and spoke to the 
assembly, bidding them farewell in an affecting 
speech: — "I thank Almighty God, who caused 
me to be born of a royal stock, and raised me to 
be Queen over so large and mighty a kingdom : 
and for that he has granted me so uncommon a 
measure of success and blessing. I thank, too, 
those nobles who preserved the State when I was 
in tender years, and likewise the Senate and the 
Estates for the fidelity and attachment they have 
shown me." She then recounted all that had 
been done in Sweden during the ten years of her 
reign, and solemnly affirmed that in a difficult 
position she had done nothing for which she had 
to reproach herself; she had sacrificed her own 
time and repose to the welfare of her people. 
She spoke of her father, Gustavus Adolphus, and 
what he had done for Sweden ; then turning to 
the Prince, she praised his fine qualities, and 
predicted that he would increase the national 
glory. She bade them transfer to him the fidelity 
they had shown to her, and renew to him the 
oaths, from which she now released them, that 
they had taken to herself. 

Her speech was received with profound emotion; 


few could restrain their tears. Schering Kosen- 
hane made answer for the Estates, for the Chan- 
cellor would take no part in the ceremony. They 
were obliged to consent to a measure they dis- 
liked against their will; yet they thanked her 
for the trouble she had taken in their behalf. 
Then addressing Charles Gustavus, the Queen 
bade him keep his eye fixed upon the great 
examples of his ancestors, protesting that his 
worth, and not his kinship, had caused her to 
choose him for her successor. She wished for no 
other recompense than that he would be kind and 
attentive to her mother, and those of her friends 
whom she had recommended to him. The Prince 
begged her to re-ascend the throne ; but finding 
this of no avail, he thanked her for her goodness 
to him, and promised to observe all her wishes. 
He next addressed the Senate and the Estates, 
who, through the mouth of Eosenhane, assured 
him of their love and obedience. Then taking 
Christina by the hand he led her back to her room. 

The same afternoon his own coronation was 
performed, very simply, owing to the exhausted 
state of the finances. He caused a medal to be 
struck, to commemorate his gratitude. On the 
obverse was himself, as king— caeolus gustavtjs 
KEX ; on the reverse, a picture of Christina crown- 
ing him, with the motto : A deo et chkistina. 

The reign of Christina had come to an end. 


( 242 ) 


Pages might be filled with the opinions ex- 
pressed in Europe upon the extraordinary spec- 
tacle of a young woman in her twenty-eighth 
year voluntarily throwing away a crown; but 
they would add nothing to our knowledge. The 
onlookers of the time had less means of getting 
at the truth than we have, and the various 
judgments, ranging from the most extravagant 
panegyric to equally extravagant invective, were 
only dictated by personal feeling or party in- 
terests ; very few were there w^ho considered it 
impartially. The King of Spain, dubious at 
first, afterwards gave it his warmest approval. 
" Where," exclaimed Conde, " is this Queen who 
has cast off what we are all hunting for ? " " It 
is well," wrote Bochart, "to despise the world, 
but with the crown she has lost the power of 
doing good." "You have cast away your 
shield," wrote Heinsius to Christina ; " of your 
flatterers but few praised Christina, most the 
Queen." Here and there she found an isolated 
admirer, such as Gassendi or Milton, in those who 
could take a philosophic view. The suddenness 


of SO startling a course at first took the world by- 
surprise and merely perplexed it ; but no sooner 
had Christina capped her abdication by her 
profession of her new faith than all doubt 
vanished. From that hour the Catholics extolled 
her to the skies, and the Protestants, especially 
in Sweden, with the large contingent of dis- 
appointed French and learned parasites, became 
her bitter enemies. Calumny and abuse, how- 
ever, are always stronger than praise, and her 
vilipenders have won the day up to the present 
time. A sound historical criticism will dismiss 
both these special pleaders. The politician and 
the man of the world will perhaps side with the 
Swedes, and pronounce it to be a desertion of 
duty, if not an act of complete folly ; but in 
that case he must accept the logical consequences 
of his position, and regard it as redudio acl 
absurdum of religion, for there is not the shadow 
of a doubt that she herself considered she was 
sacrificing her crown to her convictions. The 
religious motive was her starting-point, nor 
would the attraction of brighter skies and more 
congenial surroundings, even aided by her 
native restlessness, even have been strong 
enough to draw her away from the throne 
without it. The more plausible assertion that 
she was driven away by her difficulties is com- 
pletely refuted by a fact admitted even by those 

R 2 


who make it, that she had determined to resign 
as early as, and even earlier than, 1648. 

Those who have of their own free will aban- 
doned the supreme power — Sulla, Diocletian, 
Charles V. — had not long to live after it ; their 
private life has added to, instead of damaging, 
the general effect of the whole. But Christina 
lived thirty-five years after she abdicated, and 
hence there is a sort of dramatic impropriety in 
the second and longer half of her career, which 
in itself has detracted from her fame. There is 
a great drop from a public to a private stage ; 
the brilliancy of her ten years' reign — ten years 
of absolute rule — during which the young Queen, 
as she said herself, donnait tout et jpourvoyait a 
tout, is sadly dulled against the subsequent 
period nearly four times as long, when she had 
only her own peculiar character to depend on. 
From the point of view of art and her own fame, 
it is a very great pity she did not die im- 
mediately after her abdication. The remainder 
of her life produces ^the same effect as the third 
rhyme in a heroic couplet ; intrinsically good 
though it be, it mars the general effect. 

Her first anxiety after becoming a private 
person was to get out of Sweden as fast as she 
could; she would not even stay the night at 
Upsala, though it was raining hard. To Count 
Brahe, who begged her not to be in such a 


hurry, she replied, "How do you suppose I can 
stay in a place over which I was but now 
sovereign, to see another wielding my power ? " 
There were, besides, good reasons for making 
haste. The peasants were openly talking of 
comj)elling her to stay in the country and spend 
her revenues in Sweden ; and what was worse, 
rumours were beginning to spread of her design 
to become a Catholic. Delay might have fatal 
effects : accordingly, she remained only five 
days at Stockholm. To lull suspicion she gave 
out that she was going to drink the waters at 
Spa, and would soon return. She had before 
this packed up and sent to G-othenburg the bulk 
of her furniture, statues, pictures, medals, and 
personal possessions. Charles Gustavus presented 
her with 50,000 crowns for her journey and a 
fine diamond and pearl pin as a souvenir. 
Before starting she wrote to her hero, Conde, 
assuring him of her continued admiration, and 
declaring that her resignation of the crown 
should never be lowered by any vain regrets. 
She also, as if to initiate her new career, wrote to 
the French Academy, thanking them for the 
praise with which they had received her portrait, 
which they had asked for, and telling them of 
her intention to devote herself to the helles lettres. 
Partly, too, to assure herself of what she was not 
wholly convinced, she had medals struck ; one 


showing Pegasus on a high rock with the 
inscription, sedes Jisec solio potior; another, dis- 
playing a crown, with the motto, et sine te; a 
third showed a labyrinth, with the words fata 
viam invenient. The world was, indeed, all before 
her ; it required courage to take the fatal step. 

She set out from Stockholm at nightfall, 
escorted by many of the principal persons in the 
kingdom, and observed by a large crowd, amidst 
the salutes of cannon from the fort and the men- 
of-war. Travelling all night and the whole of 
the next day, she arrived in the evening at 
Nykoping, where she bade farewell to Maria 
Eleanora, and continued her journey without 
resting till she came to Norkoping. She re- 
mained there a day, not having slept since she 
left Stockholm. A little farther on she was 
seized with pleurisy, and had to stop for a week 
at a private house. Here, although twelve ships 
of the line had been ordered to Calmar to escort 
her, she wrote to Charles X. to say she would 
not go by sea, but by land to Denmark. Passing 
through Halmstadt she wrote to Gassendi, fixing 
on him an annual salary, together with a present 
of a chain of gold. She now disguised herself as 
a man, giving herself out to be the son of Count 
Dohna, for the sake of security on her travels. 
At the last moment, before crossing the frontier. 
Baron Linde once more made her the offer of 


Charles' hand ; she answered calmly, that if she 
had been inclined to marry, she would have done 
so with better grace while she was still on the 
throne, adding that the king was prudent enough 
not to need counsel of her. 

We need not dwell on her journey through 
Denmark. On July 10, she arrived at Hamburgh, 
and resumed her own sex and personality. She 
stayed at the house of a Jew, named Texeira ; 
this scandalized the Lutheran ministers, who 
inveighed against her in the pulpit for it. From 
subsequent letters it appears that she had bought 
or engaged this house from Texeira, who acted 
as her agent in various money matters. A story 
is told of her here, which may or may not be 
true. Being at the church of St. Peter's with the 
Landgrave of Hesse, the Kector pronounced a 
panegyric upon her, on the text of the Queen of 
Sheba, and was rewarded by the present of a gold 
chain, " though possibly she had not heard much 
of it " ; for after she left the church, a book 
richly bound was found in her pew, which turned 
out to be a Yirgil ; it was taken to Christina, who 
received it with a smile. 

She wrote to Charles X., reminding him to 
look after her revenues ; and there was no harm 
in having a friend at Court, for a rumour that 
she was meditating a change of religion had got 
about, and the Swedish clergy were talking of 


cutting down her revenues. The Senate deter- 
mined to send a remonstrance, adjuring her to 
remain steadfast in the faith of her fathers, as 
being the best. 

Meanwhile, she was visited by numerous Ger- 
man princes, among others, the already mentioned 
Landgrave of Hesse, who gave her "a stately 
feast without the city," on July 30. After 
supper she returned home, resumed male attire, 
because the roads were dangerous by reason of 
the dispute with the city of Bremen, and accom- 
panied only by Steinberg and four others, 
departed at midnight, bidding the rest of her 
retinue meet her by a certain date at Amsterdam. 
On August 6, she came to Munster, and went 
next day to visit the Jesuits' college there. A 
letter written by one of the Keverend Fathers 
gives an account of it. She was shown over the 
church, library, and precincts, jesting with the 
Father on the morals of the Order, in that they 
were all things to all men. Just before going, 
being offered a cup of wine, she accepted it, and 
poured it away on the ground, saying, " I am no 
great wine-bibber," and departed, much pleased 
with her entertainment : next morning she sent 
them 100 ducats. One of the Jesuits, who had 
her portrait, discovered her, in spite of the big 
hat, large boots, black wig, and sword on thigh, 
which announced the young man, but said 


nothing at the time. Thence passing through 
Holland incognita, in spite of the wish of the 
States to receive her magnificently, she arrived 
at Antwerp on August 12, and assumed her own 

Among those who came to see her here was 
the Archduke Leopold ; " the Queen received him 
at the foot of the stairs, conducted him to her 
lodgings, made him sit down over against her, 
in such another chair, gave him always the title 
of Highness, and accompanied him to the bottom 
of the same stairs, with reciprocal satisfaction, 
still speaking in Italian." But her hero Conde 
sending to demand the same ceremony as that 
shown to the Archduke, she was annoyed and 
refused it ; whereupon he would not come at all. 
It is said that he did come incognito in the crowd 
one day, and on Christina's recognising him, 
withdrew, remarking only, when she would have 
detained him, " All or nothing ! " Meeting him 
one day as if by accident, Christina exclaimed, 
" Cousin, who would have believed, ten years ago, 
that we were destined to meet like this ? " From 
the Hague came secretly the Queen of Bohemia, 
Elizabeth, the friend of Descartes, with her 
daughter, "only to see her, as they did, at a 
comedy, " as well as other notables ; she passed 
her time in receiving visits, frequenting the 
theatres, and making tours to neighbouring 


colleges and libraries. To the admonition of the 
Senate she wrote back, refusing politely to be 
guided by their well-meant advice. 

While she was at Antwerp, circumstances not 
fully known to us brought about an awkward 
misunderstanding between her and her old friend 
Chanut. She had wished to see him ; accordingly, 
he came from the Hague, where he was ambas- 
sador, and was well received. After he returned, 
the report spread that this visit had not been one 
of mere courtesy, but that its object was to 
invite Christina to try and make peace between 
Spain and France. Chanut wrote to her, to ask 
her to deny this rumour publicly. Whether it 
was that there really had been some such talk, 
(Chanut, for instance, wrote to a friend, to say 
that the Queen was by no means such a Spaniard 
as was given out,) or whether she suspected the 
rumours were designed to injure her with Spain ; 
or finally, wished to conciliate the Spaniards, she 
refused ; telling him " that for all answer to his 
letter, which he was trying to give weight to by 
publishing copies, she would say only that all it 
contained was baseless ; . . . the French were 
well known to be hindering the peace ; the 
Spaniards were waiting patiently, even though 
they might have to wait till the French grew 
more modest ; and neither the cunning, nor the 
boasting of France would terrify them ; the King 


of France would one day find that peace was his 
truest policy." Chanut wrote back a letter of 
surprise and remonstrant apology for his country ; 
and laid the correspondence before the Court of 
Sweden, to which France had complained. King 
Charles contented himself with announcing he 
had taken no part in the business, and did not 
understand it, as, indeed, neither can we. 

Shortly afterwards, Christina made a magnifi- 
cent journey to Brussels, on December 23 ; being 
conveyed thither in a barge, richly decorated and 
gilded, armed with twelve pieces of cannon, and 
drawn by twelve horses ; the banks were lined 
with gazers, and soldiers drawn up to receive her, 
v/ho fired volleys in her honour ; night fell before 
she arrived at the gate of the city, which was 
adorned with an artificial firework, representing 
two angels holding the name of Christina, 
crowned with laurel. As she passed through 
the town, she was welcomed with bonfires, illumi- 
nations, bell-ringing, and discharges of cannon, 
and the plaudits of the all-eager multitude. On 
Christmas Eve, she made her private abjuration 
of Lutheranism in the presence of the Archduke, 
Montecuculi, Pimentelli, and others ; at the 
moment she was absolved, the ordnance of the 
town, by a special providence, according to 
Gualdo, by a previous arrangement, according 
to Arckenholtz, were simultaneously discharged. 


Although her public reception into the bosom of 
the Church was deferred till she came to Inns- 
bruck, the news of her conversion was bruited 
through Europe, and from that hour, among 
the Protestants, her doom was sealed. 

In the meantime, she gave herself up to the 
amusements which were liberally provided for 
her ; balls, plays, tournaments, hunting parties, 
rapidly succeeded one another ; Mazarin even 
sent a company of actors, who acted plays alter- 
nately in Spanish, French, and Italian. She 
writes a playful letter at this time to her only 
female friend, Ebba Sparre (a letter which the 
thickheaded Arckenholtz, and others after him, 
interpret seriously) : 

" How supreme my happiness would be, could 
I share it with you," she says ; then, after assuring 
her of her affection for her : "Adieu, telle, remem- 
ber your Christina. P.S. — Give my compliments 
to all my friends, male and female, even to those 
who have no wish to be friendly : I forgive them 
with all my heart, all the more that I am none 
the worse for them. I forgot to tell you that I 
am perfectly well, and receive untold honours ; 
I get along well with everybody, except the 
Prince de Conde, whom I never see except at the 
play, or on the field. My occupations are to eat 
well, and sleep well, study a little, talk, laugh, 
and go to the French, Italian and Spanish plays. 


and pass the time pleasantly. In short, I listen 
to no more sermons ; I despise all orators, in 
accordance with Solomon's 'All is vanity,' for we 
ought all to be content with eating, drinking and 

She stayed in the palace of the Archduke, who 
vacated his own apartments for her ; afterwards 
she moved to that of the Duke of Egmont. A 
few savants, such as Yossius, came to pay their 
respects : she wrote to Bourdelot she had no more 
need of a doctor. She sent to invite Menage, 
who would not come, judging she would be at 
Paris before long. But with the exception of 
worthy men such as Heinsius, Bochart, and 
Gassendi, the bulk of the learned combined with 
the French to defame her, and a plentiful crop 
of libellous anecdote sprang up, on which we 
may listen to Bayle : " I have heard multitudes 
of people retail all kinds of scandals about her, 
but as soon as I looked into them, I never found 
anything to make them credible ; I take this 
opportunity of warning others to put no faith in 
such stuff." It may very well be, indeed, that 
on some Jesuits promising her a place in the 
calendar beside St. Bridget of Sweden, she re- 
plied, " I would rather have a place among the 
wise." Like most people who feel deeply, Chris- 
tina studiously avoided betraying it externally ; 
her lively and satirical humour in such instances 


as these was misrepresented by her enemies, and 
eagerly improved upon to her disadvantage. 
The Swedish ecclesiastics were by this time furious 
with her ; she judged it advisable to write to the 
king and Brahe, recommending to them the care 
of her interests on the matter of her revenues ; 
her forebodings that all might not always be 
well with them were justified afterwards, as time 
will show. 

In Sweden, things were altering quickly from 
what they were in her time. Charles X., among 
other things, was a most devout Lutheran, and 
gave entire satisfaction to the clergy. The old 
Chancellor, Axel Oxenstiern, did not long sur- 
vive her departure from Sweden : in August, 
1654, he died. His last thoughts were of the 
daughter of Gustavus Adolphus : — " What news," 
he enquired, " of Christina ? " and on receiving 
an answer, " I predicted," he said, " she would 
repent of what she had done, but " — with a deep 
sigh — " she is none the less the daughter of the 
great Gustavus." They were his last words. 
His whole life had been devoted to the service of 
the House of Vasa; Christina's abdication was, 
as it were, the ironical shattering of all his schemes. 
Eight months afterwards, Maria Eleanora followed 
him; on receiving news of her death, Christina 
retired into the country, and remained for three 
weeks inaccessible to visitors. 


While she remained in Flanders, awaiting the 
completion of the arrangements for her journey 
to Rome, Pope Innocent X. died, on January 7, 
1655. After a protracted conclave, the " flying 
squadron " carried the election of Cardinal Chigi, 
who became Pope in April, taking the name of 
Alexander VII. He was enormously delighted 
with Christina's conversion, and took all the pains 
in the world, says D^e Retz, to convince us all that 
he had himself been the unique instrument of 
which God had made use to bring it about, 
whereas everybody knew very well he had had 
nothing to do with it. He immediately wrote to 
Christina, advising her to let her light, which 
was at present under a bushel, shine out before 
the world by making public profession of her 
faith before entering Rome, and sent to her for 
that purpose his legate Holsteinius, canon of St. 
Peter's, and librarian of the Vatican, himself a 
convert. She accordingly took leave of the Arch- 
duke, presenting him with a Swedish horse whose 
harness and trappings were worth 30,000 crowns ; 
another, not quite so magnificent, she gave to 
Count Fyensaldagne, as well as jewels to various 
officers worth 10,000 pistoles, and left Brussels in 
September, 1655, with a large retinue, among 
which was Pimentelli. On the way Charles II. 
came to see her from Frankfort; the conversa- 
tion was unfortunately not reported : doubtless 


he bore her no malice for not lending him 

At Innsbruck her public profession was solem- 
nized on November 3. At ten in the morning 
she was conducted to the cathedral church by 
the Archduke and a procession of nobles and 
ecclesiastics. She was dressed in black silk, her 
only ornament being a cross of five magnificent 
diamonds on her breast. Holsteinius read his 
commission from the pope : she then made her 
profession, reading the form presented to her in 
a firm and composed voice — declaring her belief 
in the doctrines contained in the Nicene creed, 
which she recited, the ecclesiastical traditions, 
the interpretation of Scripture placed upon it by 
the Church and the Fathers ; the seven sacra- 
ments ; the doctrines of original sin, and justifi- 
cation, according to the Council of Trent ; 
transubstantiation ; purgatory ; the invocation 
of Saints ; the worship of images ; indulgences ; 
the supreme power of the Pope; condemning 
and anathematizing the opposite heresies. Hol- 
steinius then gave her absolution, and pronounced 
the benediction. A Jesuit then preached a ser- 
mon on the text : " Hearken, daughter, and 
incline thine ear : forget also thine own people 
and thy father's house." Four copies of this 
profession, one for Christina, Innsbruck, the Vati- 
can, and the Pope, respectively, were prepared 


and signed by Christina, the Archduke, the 
Archbishop, Pimentelli, and Holsteinius. 

The ceremony over, it was celebrated with great 
rejoicings, bonfires, the firing of cannon, plays, 
and spectacles : a musical tragi-comedy was per- 
formed by the best musicians in Italy. As a 
specimen of the sort of thing invented about 
Christina, Chevreau, a fertile source, declares that 
on this occasion she said to the circle surround- 
ing her, " 'Tis but right, gentlemen, you should 
treat me to a comedy, since I have just treated 
you to a farce." Impudence could go no farther ; 
as if at such a moment she would have trampled 
on the Catholic proprieties on the point of going 
to Rome. 

During the week she remained at Innsbruck, 
she wrote to the King of Sweden, informing him 
that if her faith was changed, so was not her 
regard for Sweden. She wrote also to the Pope, 
professing her complete submission to him, and 
hoping speedily to present herself for his bene- 
diction in Rome. With Holsteinius, a man of 
learning and culture, she had many a conversa- 
tion on the eternal city : doubtless he lost no 
opportunity of increasing her already eager 
desire to see it. "Where indeed," exclaims 
Ranke, " could she have lived except in Rome ? 
With any of the temporal sovereigns, whose 
claims were similar to her own, she would have 



fallen into ceaseless strife and collision." " Kome 
still continued to be the metropolis of intel- 
lectual culture, unequalled in the variety of its 
learning and in the practice of art ; it was still 
productive as regards music. ... * A man must 
have been ill-treated by nature,' exclaims Spon, 
who visited Eome in 1674, ' who does not find his 
full contentment in one or other of the branches 
to be studied here ; ' the libraries, where the 
rarest works were open to the student ; the con- 
certs in churches and palaces, where the finest 
voices were daily to be heard; the many col- 
lections of ancient and modern sculpture and 
painting ; the numberless stately buildings of 
every age. Villas wholly covered with bas- 
reliefs and inscriptions ; . . . the presence of so 
many strangers of all lands and tongues ; the 
beauties of nature to be enjoyed in gardens 
worthy to make part of paradise ; and for him 
who delights in the practice of piety, a treasure 
of churches, relics, and processioning, that shall 
occupy him his whole life long." 

In such an element Christina felt she would 
be entirely at home. The necessary preliminary 
over, she left Innsbruck on December 8th. Her 
progress to Kome resembled the triumphant 
procession of a Koman Dictator, or a scene in the 
Arabian Nights ; at every stage gorgeous spec- 
tacles, fetes, decorated arches, illuminations were 


strewn upon her path. The Venetians not 
allowing her to pass through their territory for 
fear of the pest in the countries through which she 
had come, she turned aside to Mantua, and was 
royally entertained by the Duke. On entering 
the Papal States she was met by four Nuncios, 
with a letter of welcome from the Pope. His 
legate escorted her into Ferrara, and did the 
honours of that town. During a splendid 
banquet there she astonished him by her intimate 
acquaintance with the principal musicians of 
Italy, and its painting and architecture. The 
three first cathedrals in Europe, she said, were 
St. Peter's of Kome, the Duomo at Milan, and 
St. Paul's in London ; but the last, she added with 
a sigh, is now become a stable. 

It would only be tedious to recount in detail 
the vain repetition of her reception at all the 
towns through which her route lay, Bologna, 
Faenza, Rimini, Pesaro, Ancona; at the last 
place, beneath a building representing the seven 
hills of Rome, was the Tiber, which " instead of 
water did actually cast wine." Sometimes she 
would enter the town in the garb of an Amazon 
on horseback. At Loretto she dedicated a crown 
and sceptre adorned with diamonds and pearls to 
the Virgin. She arrived at Rome on December 
19th, entering the city incognita, amidst a blaze 
of illuminations, at seven o'clock in the evening. 

s 2 


Observing the multitude assembled to look at 
her, she jestingly inquired if this was the received 
fashion of stealing privately into Kome. On 
being introduced to the Pope, she made him 
three profound courtesies, and respectfully kissed 
his toe ; he raised her, and led her to a throne of 
crimson velvet embroidered with gold. The 
interval of three days before she made her public 
entry was filled up with visits to the Vatican and 

" The Happy and Joyous Entry of Queen 
Christina of Sweden into Kome," as an inscription 
-on the arch of the Porta del Popolo, through 
which she entered, declared, took place on 
December 23rd, 1655. Kiding on a white horse 
in the manner and garb of an Amazon, she passed 
with her train through lines of troops drawn up on 
each side, through crowds of spectators in festive 
attire, and entered St. Peter's, where being re- 
ceived by the clergy, and conducted to the Pope's 
■chapel, she was confirmed by his Holiness ; taking 
the name of Alexandra in addition to her own, 
with a double complimentary allusion, it was 
thought, to the Pope and the historical character 
she most admired. 

These costly but wearisome ceremonies over, 
she employed her time in visiting the buildings 
and antiquities, the museums and galleries. At 
the College de Fropagmidd Fide, where printing 


in twenty-two languages was carried on, the 
scholars complimented her in each ; " Let Chris- 
tina live for ever," was printed in eight different 
tongues ; and the whole was subsequently pub- 
lished in a book to commemorate her visit. As 
she stood one day before a statue of Truth by 
Bernini, she exclaimed in admiration, "How 
beautiful ! " *' God be praised," said a Cardinal 
who stood near, "that your Majesty loves truth, a 
thing rare in those of your station." " I believe 
you," answered Christina, " but all truths are not 
of marble." She frequently showed herself equal 
to her surroundings not only in learning and 
culture, but in satirical repartee. She used to 
laugh and talk to the Cardinals during mass, an 
enormity which we must beware of criticising 
from a modern point of view ; in that age people 
were very lax in their behaviour in church. The 
Pope sent her a rosary and exhorted her to use 
it in her prayers, to which Christina forcibly 
replied, ** Non miga voglio essere CatJiolica da 
hacchettone,'" (" I did not become a Catholic to tell 
beads "). This is not, as perverse malignity wdll 
have it, a confession of indifference, but a refusal 
to tie herself up in the foolish symbolisms 
designed for fixing the attention of common 
minds : she was all her life, as she says, little of 
a devotee. She soon became a leading figure in 
the literary society of Kome, and founded an 


academy, which met for the first time on 
January 21st, 1656 : we shall examine this 
side of her life more fully further on. 

The approach of the Carnaval was a signal for 
new concerts, plays, moralities, and amusements. 
The principal families of Kome and the Cardinals 
vied with one another in feting her. Prince 
Pamphili and his wife gave a magnificent series 
of shows and banquets in her honour ; the 
Barberini exhibited tournaments, and an extra- 
ordinary opera, entitled ' Human Life,' varied 
with elephants, bulls, streams of real water, and 
the like, such as had never been seen in Eome. 
Cardinal Colonna actually fell violently in love 
with her, though he was fifty years old ; as his 
passion led him into ridiculous and unseemly 
positions — he used to serenade her — the Pope 
banished him from Kome, in order that Christina 
might not be scandalised. Of this he was very 
careful, and it was even said that his aim in 
welcoming her thus honourably was to *' compel 
others to come in." An epigram was made by 
some anonymous wit on his rejoicings over Chris- 
tina, alluding to the conquests of Charles X. in 
Poland going on at the same time, to the effect 
that the Pope in gaining one sheep had lost a 
whole fold. 

In one country at least his chances were gone 
for ever ; the news of Christina's final reception 


into the bosom of the Church had been the last 
straw to the Swedish clergy. The feeling of 
their helplessness increased their malevolence: 
in this condition, they vented their malice upon 
Matthiae. He was considered to have directly 
contributed to Christina's lapse, by inspiring her 
with sentiments hostile to Lutheranism. (In 
1662, his books advocating conciliation, the 
* Idea of a Better State ' and his * Branches of a 
Northern Olive,' were proscribed in Sweden, and 
he anticipated his deposition from the bishopric 
of Strengnas by resigning.) In 1655 he wrote 
Christina a letter, deploring that the daughter 
of Gustavus should have belied her race by 
going over to Rome, and hoping that it might be 
her secret aim to work for a reunion of all 
churches, in which case she would merit eternal 
gratitude; otherwise he prays her to return to 
her ancient faith. Christina, though she did not 
take his advice, retained her affection for him, 
writing to him and sending him money. " Have 
patience," she says, "I share your misfortune, 
and will never abandon you ; you shall never 
want as long as I am alive." 

During this first period, Christina yielded 
herself to the fascinating enjoyment of her new 
existence, with a delicious feeling of relief after 
the restraint and false position of the last few 
years in Sweden. This careless easiness w^as not 


destined to last long. Already in her reign the 
jealonsy of French and Spaniards had drawn her 
into their miserable animosities ; how much more 
was this likely to happen in a centre like Rome — 
Rome, where politics were based entirely npon a 
balance between those two Powers ? No sooner 
had she begun to form a part of the life of the 
capital, than between the two parties she found 
herself involved in their political intrigues and 
squabbles. Her bat-eyed biographers lay the 
complications that ensued to the door of her own 
" fickleness," rather than the varying relations 
between the parties ; it is so much easier. But 
what are the facts ? 

As she was now meditating a journey to Paris, 
she engaged some French people in her service ; 
she also engaged some Italians, dismissing some 
Spaniards to make room for them ; in both cases, 
consulting merely her own convenience. But 
the Spaniards, who had got into the habit of con- 
sidering her their private property, and quite 
erroneously supposed she had till now been a 
particular partisan of their interests, were furious 
at this manifest predilection for France, and 
began to abuse her; they even went so far, 
according to an author by no means favourable 
to Christina, as to publish some defamatory lives 
of her in Spanish. This was not calculated to 
win her back again, and she is said to have 


complained to Madrid about it. But however 
that may be, it was the Spaniards themselves who 
by their arrogance brought about the very thing 
they accused her of doing, namely, viewing them 
with less favour than before. Their method 
of action is fully described in a manifesto 
Christina published on the subject, which gives 
so thorough an insight into the genesis of the 
accusations against her that it is worth while to 
quote it at length : 

" The Queen having entered the Papal States, 
and met, from Ferrara to Kome, with certain 
Cardinals, of the ' flying squadron,' with whose 
conversation she was pleased, the Spaniards in 
her suite were seized with jealousy as usual, and 
claiming to be the only ones enjoying her favour, 
did not abstain from time to time from saying all 
they could to prevent her from establishing any 
relations with them. But her Majesty gave them 
to understand that their advice was thrown away. 
Having coming to Eome, M. de Lionne, the 
French ambassador, holding frequent and long 
interviews with her, the Spaniards complained, 
and told her that apparently she was wishing to 
damage the friendship she had promised to the 
King their master, by forming a still closer one 
with France. To which her Majesty answered 
that she would cultivate the friendship of whom- 
soever she chose, and that thev ought not to be 


surprised at her wishing to entertain a corre- 
spondence with France, with whom she had been 
on good terms at all times ; this was not to make 
new friendships, but to continue an old one ; and 
finally, she was not the King of Spain's subject, 
that she should blindly second their counsels and 
conform to their designs. 

" The Spaniards, entertaining further suspicions 
of the frequent visits of the Cardinals Barberini, 
Borromeo, and Azzolini, went and complained to 
the Pope, thinking thereby to put a stop to these 
visits. But finding that this did not produce the 
desired effect, they formed plots among themselves, 
sometimes in the house of Cardinal de Medicis, 
sometimes in that of the Duke de Terranuova, at 
which assisted Cardinal Landgravio, Don Antonio 
Pimentelli, Don Antonio de Cueva, and others of 
the Spanish faction ; in which were held discourses 
showing very scant respect to her Majesty, which 
were made public throughout Kome. Cueva was 
the principal instrument of the Spaniards in 
carrying from house to house these calumnies on 
the Queen, who being informed of them, judged 
it at first best to despise all such reports. She 
dissembled for more than three months, treating 
Cueva as usual. But finally, seeing that things 
went on, and that further disguise would only 
have the effect of making him still more insolent, 
she began to treat him with greater coldness than 


before, and give him to understand that it would 
give her much pleasure if he asked leave to 
return to Flanders ; he said he hoped to start in 
a week. Next day her Majesty made Sentinelli 
her chamberlain ; Cueva, taking this as a mark 
of contempt for himself, demanded leave to return 
the same evening. Don Antonio Pimentelli also 
took umbrage at the matter, and though accus- 
tomed to come every day to tlie Farnese to visit 
the Queen, he let pass five days without presenting 
himself; on the sixth he came to try and settle 
the Cueva affair." 

When Cueva came to take leave some days 
afterwards, Christina summoned her principal 
domestics as witnesses, and told him that it was 
for his conscience to determine whether he had 
served her well or ill ; but he might be certain 
she would always know how to reward the man 
of honour, and punish the scoundrel ; and if she 
ever heard that he had spoken disrespectfully of 
her in future she would take care to reward him 
according to his deserts, wherever he might be. 
The same day she sent Count Fiene to tell 
Cardinal de Medicis, as in the Spanish interest, 
what had occurred ; and bade him tell the King 
of Spain that if Cueva had not been one of his 
generals she would have had him horse-whipped ; 
signifying further to the Cardinal that her respect 
for his rank and cloth would cause her to over- 


look all he had himself clone or might do. Next 
morning she sent to warn the Duke de Terranuova 
to behave himself like a gentleman, as, now that 
Cueva was dismissed, she had only gentlemen in 
her service, who were ready to give him proof of it, 
unless he remembered his character as ambassadoi* 
of Spain. She subsequently told the Pope what 
she had done, who gave her his entire approval, 
and sent to the Duke to warn him that his 
Holiness viewed his behaviour to the Queen as 
very strange, and would take any further insult 
as made to himself. 

This affords an explanation of these dark 
intrigues, and completely exonerates Christina 
from the blame. Of Cueva we are further told 
that he refused to go through a room in her 
house, because it contained a portrait of Louis 
XIV. Small wonder if she felt a strong desire 
to have him soundly thrashed ! 

In the April of that same year, 1656, she fell 
dangerously ill again, but recovered by the aid 
of her own strength of mind and the doctors of 
the Pope, who was much concerned. About this 
time she wrote to Ebba Sparre : 

"How happy I should be, could I see you, 
Belle ; but I am condemned to the hard fate of 
loving you from a distance ; the envy the stars 
have of human happiness prevents me from being 


myself entirely liappy, as I cannot be so absent 
from you. ... Is it possible, Belle, that you 
remember me ? am I as dear as I always 
used to be to you? was I not rather mistaken 
when I persuaded myself I was the person 
you loved best in the world ? Ah ! if so, leave 
me my illusion, do not undeceive me, then 
neither time nor absence shall deprive me of it. 
Adieu, Belle, adieu ; I embrace you a million 

" Christina Alexandra." 

In the case of the beautiful Ebba Christina, she 
made an exception to her general contempt of 
women. She wrote to her again after her return 
from France, pressing her to come and stay with 
her in Italy ; but this never took place : five 
years afterwards Ebba died of a fever. 

The need of change, and her disgust at the 
Spanish disagreeables, increased Christina's desire 
to go to France, and the prevalence of an epi- 
demic afforded an excuse. Nevertheless it was 
not without difficulty that she could raise the 
necessary funds; the war between Poland and 
Sweden caused difficulties and arrears in her 
revenues ; she was obliged to pawn her jewels for 
10,000 ducats and accept besides a loan of 
20,000 crowns from the Pope. Embarking at 
Civita Vecchia in one of his galleys, she arrived 


at Marseilles on July 24tli. The Due cle Guise 
was sent to meet her, and on her journey through 
France she was received everywhere with great 
ceremony. At Lyons an ecclesiastic compli- 
mented her with more wit than reason : " I will 
not bore your Majesty with a long discourse, but 
content myself with saying, ' Suecia te Christinam 
fecit; Uoma Cliristianam ; faciei te Gallia Cliris- 
tianissimam.' " 

At Fontainebleau, where she arrived on Sep- 
tember 4th, she was met by Mademoiselle de 
Montpensier, who describes the scene and the 
impression made upon her : 

" I had so often heard of her strange way of 
dressing that I was dying with fear lest I should 
laugh when I caught sight of her ; but when I 
perceived her she surprised me indeed, but not 
in a way to make me laugh. She wore a grey 
petticoat, laced with gold and silver; a close- 
fitting jacket of camelot, of the colour of fire, 
with lace to match that of her petticoat ; a point 
lace handkerchief round her neck, tied with a fire- 
coloured ribbon ; a fair wig, with a knot behind, 
such as women wear, and a hat with black 
feathers which she carried in her hand. She is 
very fair, with blue eyes, which are sometimes 
very soft, but at others very bold, a pleasing 
though large mouth, fine teeth, large and aquiline 
nose ; she is very small, her bad figure is hidden 


by her jacket ; her general effect is that of a 
pretty little boy. When I j^resented Count 
Bethune to her she spoke to him of his 
manuscripts. She likes to show that she knows 
every one, and is au fait on all points. 

" After the ballet we went to the Comedy ; 
there she astonished me. In her praise of places 
that pleased her, she would swear by God, throw 
herself back in her chair, tossing her legs about, 
and assuming postures scarcely decent. She 
spoke on all sorts of subjects, and said what she 
did say very agreeably ; sometimes she would 
fall into a profound reverie, sighing deeply ; 
then all of a sudden come to herself like one 
waking from a dream ; she is altogether extra- 
ordinary. Then we went to see some sham firing 
on the water. She held me by the hand during 
the performance ; several shots came close by us ; 
I was afraid. She laughed at me, saying, * What ! 
a young lady who has seen so much, and done so 
many fine things, afraid ? ' I told her I was 
only brave at special moments, and it was enough 
for me. She said something aside to Mademoi- 
selle de Guise, who told her she must tell me. 
She then said that the desire of her life was to be 
present at a battle, and she would never be 
happy till she had been; she was jealous of 
the Prince de Conde for all he had done. 


We must make allowance here for the eyes 
and ears of a prim Louis XIY. dame, which were 
easily scandalised by a little unconventionality ; 
with regard to her swearing, the account of 
another lady says that she had never heard her 
swear, and was persuaded it was an invention of 
her enemies. Christina herself says it was a vice 
she had caught from her countrymen, but she 
had entirely cured herself of it. She seemed 
herself conscious that her dress " smacked of the 
masculine ; " on many of the ladies in waiting 
advancing to kiss her, she patiently accepted 
their salutes, with the comment, " What makes all 
these ladies so anxious to kiss me ; is it because 
I'm like a man ? " 

On September 8th she made her entry into 
Paris, in a very magnificent style, the city troops 
being drawn up to receive her, and welcomed by 
an enormous crowd. She rode a white horse, 
splendidly adorned ; her dress was of scarlet, 
with a black hat and feathers; a thousand 
cavaliers escorted her. At the Porte Ste. Antoine 
she was met by the Governor of Paris, De I'Hopital, 
who was to have addressed her in a set speech ; 
the plaudits of the crowd, however, made this 
impossible, and he gracefully substituted the 
compliment, that there was no need for him to 
express welcome on behalf of the good citizens of 
Paris, whose own voices and demonstrations were a 


more original testimony' of their joy and good- 
will. She proceeded first to the Cathedral of 
Notre Dame, where she heard a Te Deum, and 
then drove in a carriage to the apartments pre- 
pared for her in the Louvre. There she found 
De I'Hopital waiting for her with a numerous 
comj)any of ladies ; the same evening the Rector 
of the University of Paris conveyed her the 
compliments of his college ; next morning the 
clergy paid her their respects. She was visited 
by many people of note, amongst others, Queen 
Henrietta of England ; and Patru pronounced 
upon her in the Academy a eulogistic harangue. 
A day or two later she left Paris for Compiegne. 

" We saw the Queen of Sweden arrive at 
Compiegne ; she was perfectly well acquainted 
with the whole Court, and completely au fait 
with all matters great and small. She said on 
one occasion, that she was well aware that people 
had spoken much good and evil of her, and 
would find out when they saw her that there 
was neither one nor the other in her. She did 
not speak the truth herein : for in point of fact 
she is a mixture of great virtues and great 

" At this first meeting she seemed attractive 
to all good people. Her clothes, which sound so 
extravagant when described, were not excessively 
so to look at, or at any rate one soon gets accus- 



tomed to them. Her face seems good-looking 
enough, and all admired the vivacity of her wit, 
and her intimate acquaintance with France and 
French matters. She was familiar not only with 
the families and their arms, but the various 
intrigues and affairs of gallantry, and the names 
of all who loved painting or music. She told the 
Marquis of Sourdis all the valuable pictures in 
his own gallery, and knew that the Due de 
Liancourt had some very fine ones ; she went so 
far as to instruct the French as to what they 
possessed in their own country ; she maintained, 
against certain opponents, that there was in the 
Ste. Chapelle a very valuable agate, which she 
wanted to see ; and it was in fact discovered at 
St. Denis. She seemed courteous, particularly 
to men, but brusque and violent, giving no 
grounds for putting faith in the evil stories 
circulated about her. 

" Our Swedish Amazon gained all hearts at 
Paris, which she might soon have lost, if she had 
stayed a little longer. After having seen all 
which she thought worthy of her curiosity, she 
quitted the town, where she had always been 
hemmed round by an eager crowd, to go and see 
their majesties at Compiegne. She was received 
not only as a Queen, but as a Queen in high 
favour with the Minister. Cardinal Mazarin left 
Compiegne the same day to be at Chantilly when 


she arrived for dinner. Two hours after, arrived 
the King and his brother ; they came in as private 
gentlemen among the croAvd ; as soon as he saw 
them, Mazarin presented them to her, saying 
they were two of the best born young men in 
France. She recognized them by their portraits 
in the Louvre, and said, * I believe you, they seem 
born to wear crowns.' The Cardinal answered 
that it was difficult to deceive her, and it was 
true ; they were the King and Monsieur. The 
King apologized for her bad reception ; although 
he was shy at that time, and had every reason to 
be more so to Christina, her manner soon suc- 
ceeded in placing him at his ease. 

" The next day the King, his mother, and their 
suite came out three leagues from Compiegne to 
meet Christina and escort her back. Only the 
Cardinal and the Duke of Guise were with her, 
for the only women in her suite were ^ very 
miserable looking creatures ' and did not appear. 
As soon as she saw Anne of Austria, she got out 
of her carriage, and they saluted one another 
cordially. The young King gave Christina his 
hand to lead her into the house, and she took 
precedence of the Queen of France ; this had not 
apparently been Louis' intention ; in after years, 
when he had grown punctilious in such small 
matters, he used to upbraid his mother with 
having forgotten her dignity. 

T 2 


*'Anne of Austria used to say that she was 
never so much surprised as when she saw the 
Queen of Sweden ; and that however much she 
had been told that she was not like other people, 
she could not have imagined her to be as she 
actually was. *I was among those nearest to 
her,' says Madame de Motteville, ' and she sur- 
prised me very much. The hair of her wig had 
not been curled that day, and the wind, as she 
got down from her carriage, lifted it ; her care- 
lessness as to her complexion has made it lose its 
whiteness, and she seemed to me, at the first 
glance, a sort of dusky gipsy, who chanced to be 
rather less brown than she ought to have been. 
While I looked at her, she struck me as terrible 
rather than pleasing. . . . When I began to grow 
accustomed to her dress, manner of dressing her 
hair, and face, I found she had fine lively eyes 
with a mixture of haughtiness and sweetness in 
her look. I soon observed with astonishment 
that she attracted me, and at every moment I 
found myself completely changing towards her.' " 

The Duke of Guise pointed out Mademoiselle 
de Mancini to her ; Christina leaned over to pay 
her a compliment. At this time Louis was 
desperately in love with this young woman, and 
Christina, in jest or earnest, took his part. She 
told them they must marry, and she would be 
their confidante. " If I were you," she said to 


Louis, " I would marry whom I chose." This is 
said to have been one reason why Mazarin and 
the Queen of France were not anxious for her to 
prolong her stay. 

" The Queen-Mother told us that Christina, 
under pretence of wishing to see the portrait of 
the King and his brother, which the Queen 
carried on her arm, had made her take off her 
glove, and paid her extravagant compliments 
on the beauty of her ar^. As soon as she had 
taken a little rest in her room, she came to us, 
and was taken to the Italian Comedy. She 
thought it very bad, and said so frankly. She 
was assured that they usually acted much better. 
I don't doubt it, she replied coldly, as otherwise 
you would scarcely keep them. . . . On returning 
to her rooms, she had to be provided with valets, 
for she was quite alone, without either ladies-in- 
waiting, officers, equipage, or money ; she alone 
composed her whole Court. Chanut, who used to 
be her Kesident, when on the throne, was with 
her, and two or three ill-looking men, whom, she 
had honoured with the title of Count ; one might 
truly say she had none, for, besides these moderate 
gentlemen, we saw only two women, who looked 
more like old clothes dealers than ladies of any 

" The first day she spoke but little, which 
seemed to show her discretion. The Count de 


Nogent, according to his custom, eagerly relating 
some old stories, she told him gravely, she con- 
gratulated him on his capacious memory. Some 
of our rude jesters had designed to make her 
ridiculous, and thereby annihilate those who had 
so lightly offered her incense ; but they could 
not manage it : whether owing to her merit, or 
the haughty way she treated them, or the support 
given her by her favourable reception. On 
September 18th she went to a tragedy enacted 
by Jesuits, and laughed at it unmercifully. 
Next day Father Arnaut, the King's confessor, 
went to see her, on some complaints she had 
about their Order . . . after the excuses of the 
Eeverend Father, she told him, in the brusque, 
mocking manner natural to her, that she would 
be sorry to have them for enemies, knowing their 
strength, and equally sorry to have them either as 
confessors or actors. She professes to despise all 
women, and chooses rather to converse with men. 
She says she does not like men because they are 
men, but because they are not women. She was 
compared by some wit to Fontainebleau, whose 
buildings were grand and beautiful, but wanted 
symmetry. When she went to communicate at 
Notre Dame, those who saw her were scandalized 
at her devotion, convert as she was, who ought 
to be in her first zeal ; she spoke the whole time 
Mass was going on, with the Bishops, standing 


up the while. The Abbe Camus, the King's 
Almoner, asked her, whom she would like to 
confess to ; she replied, ' Choose some one for me.' 
He chose the Bishop of Amiens. When she went 
in to confess to him, she looked him full in the 
face, * which is extraordinary enough.' The 
Bishop professed himself much more edified with 
her sentiments, which were devout, than her 

Christina left Compiegne on September 23rd. 
At Senlis she paid a visit to Ninon de I'Enclos, 
for whom she is said to have had great admiration. 
" Thence," says Motteville, " she departed in the 
hired carriages which the King gave her as well 
as the money to pay for them ; followed by her 
miserable troop, without a suite, with grandeur, 
without a bed, without silver plate, or any royal 

This ludicrous climax makes it sufficiently 
plain that a small-minded common-place woman 
may look as hard as she likes, but will never 
make anything out of a great one. In addition 
to the insufficiency of the point of view, that of 
trim conventionality, looking for royal externals 
and finding only originality, there is a delicious 
dash of feminine spite and jealousy, which is 
explained by Christina's contempt of the sex, 
and perhaps of Motteville, and the admiration of 
the men. The Duke of Guise draws a very 


different portrait. "The Queen of Sweden is 
about as tall as Madame de Cominges, but her 
figure is fuller, and broader ; her arm is hand- 
some, her hand white and well made, but more 
like that of a man than a woman ; one shoulder 
a little higher than the other, which defect she 
conceals by the turn of her dress, her walk, and 
her gestures, so that one might make a bet about 
it. Her face is large without being faulty : all 
her features cast in the same mould, and strongly 
marked ; her nose aquiline, her mouth large, 
but not unpleasing ; her teeth pretty well, her 
eyes very fine and full of fire : her complexion, 
notwithstanding somewhat marked with small- 
pox, bright and pretty ; the face as a whole 
pretty good, aided by a bizarre method of 
dressing the hair ; a man's wig, very broad and 
high over the forehead, and very thick at the 
sides; her dress is much like that of a man, she 
hardly ever wears gloves; boots like a man's, 
and she resembles one in the tone of her voice, 
and all her actions. She affects the Amazon ; has 
as much ambition and pride as ever her father 
Gustavus could have. She is very civil and caress- 
ing, speaks eight languages, especially French, 
as if she had been born in France. She knows 
more than all the Academy and Sorbonne put 
together ; is an admirable critic in painting, as 
in everything else; knows the Court intrigues 


better than the courtiers; in short, an extra- 
ordinary person." 

Another account describes her as always care- 
ful to avoid saying things that give offence, and 
anxious not to appear savante, in spite of her learn- 
ing. Some one having mentioned Homer and 
Yirgil, she began to gibe at their heroes, Achilles, 
for consolinor himself for the loss of his mistress 
by playing the flute, ^neas, for being as insepar- 
able from his nurse at forty years of age as if he 
were a baby. " I have not heard her swear, and I 
am certain that the reports that she does so are 
merely inventions of her enemies, her mind is 
too large to submit to the grimaces necessary to 
play the feminine farce." 

She returned to Italy by way of Turin, and 
was entertained by the Duke of Savoy, on 
November 17th. But hearing that the plague 
was at Rome, she decided to go to Venice ; the 
Senate however begged her not to, as owing to 
the war with the Turks they could not receive 
her as they wished. She accordingly remained 
principally at Pesaro, though she is said to have 
gone to Venice incognita. 

( 282 ) 


In September, 1657, Christina paid a second 
visit to France. The French Court, to whom she 
was rather a white elephant, being too important 
a personage to be neglected, yet too expensive 
to be received with ceremony, were not very 
anxious to see her again so soon ; Mazarin, it is 
said, was suspicious that she might have political 
designs ; it was intimated to her that they were 
not prepared to receive her at Paris, and it would 
be as well if she remained at Lyons or Avignon ; 
but as this hint was ineffectual, they assigned 
her apartments at Fontainebleau, where she 
arrived in October. About a fortnight after- 
wards, she did an act of justice, whose autocratic 
character has laid her open to darker insinuations 
than any other part of her career. 

Of the numerous accounts, two only are entitled 
to credit, which are given here ipsissimis verbis : 
the first is that published by her own Court ; the 
second, the relation of Father Le Bel, an eye- 

" Since the month of October, as nearly as may 
be fixed, the Queen of Sweden had conceived 
some suspicion of the Marquis Monaldeschi, her 


Grand Equerry, and this was confirmed daily by 
various proofs she had of his treachery. Watch- 
ing all his actions, and the letters written to him, 
she discovered that he was betraying her in- 
terests, and by a double perfidy was scheming to 
fix upon an innocent man^ also an officer of the 
Queen's, the crime of Avhich he alone was guilty. 
The Queen made pretence of believing that the 
treachery came from that other, and assured the 
Marquis she had no doubts of himself, in order 
the better to discover all. The Marquis thinking 
he had succeeded in his object, said one day to 
the Queen : * Madam, Your Majesty is betrayed, 
and the betrayer is the absent one known to Your 
Majesty and me ; it can be no other. Your 
Majesty will soon find out who it is; I beg 
her not to pardon him.' The Queen said, * What 
does the man deserve who betrays me so ? ' The 
Marquis said : * Your Majesty should put him to 
death at once, and I offer myself to be executioner 
or victim, for 'tis an act of justice.' ^ Good,' replied 
the Queen, ^ remember your words ; as for me, I 
promise you I will not pardon him.' Meanwhile 
she had sealed up the intercepted letters, which 
she placed in the hands of the Prior of the 
Maturins at Fontainebleau, in order to present 
them to the Marquis, when it should be time. 
He on his side, considering that several posts 
had passed without his receiving any letters, 


began to feel some distrust, and endeavoured to 
find at Lyons another surer correspondent; 
showing further by different actions that he was 
thinking of flight. Therefore the Queen, wishing 
to forestall him, on the 10th November had him 
summoned to the Galerie des Cerfs according to 
custom. The Marquis was long in coming ; he 
did so at length trembling, pale, out of counten- 
ance, and quite another man, just as the Court 
had remarked him for the last few days with 
surprise. The Queen addressed to him at first 
some indifferent observations. Meanwhile she 
had ordered the Prior to come to the Gallery, 
into which he entered by a door that was immedi- 
ately closed, and the Captain of her Guards came 
in by another. The Queen then changed her 
talk, and having caused the Prior to give back 
the letters, she showed them to the Marquis, 
and reproached him with his enormous crime 
and his horrible treachery ; she caused also all 
the papers he had on him to be taken from 
his pockets, among which she found two coun- 
terfeit letters, one addressed to the Queen, the 
other to the Marquis himself, whereby she dis- 
covered a new treason against her, still blacker 
than the preceding, of which he wished to 
make use in order to confirm the bad impres- 
sion he had attempted to give her against his 
enemy ? " 


[The remainder of t?iis first account is a somewhat more 
succinct version of that which follows : the innocent 
person against whom the Marquis was plotting was 
Sentinelli. The Prior was Father le Bel, whose testi- 
mony is as helow.] 

" On November 6, at a quarter past nine in the 
morning, the Queen being at Fontainebleau, 
lodging in the Conciergerie of the Castle, sent for 
Father le Bel, by a Groom of the Chambers, who 
was ordered to bring the Prior of the Community. 
He arrived accordingly alone, for fear of keeping 
the Queen waiting, and waited some time in the 
anteroom. After a while he was introduced into 
the room where the Queen was, alone ; she told 
him, that for greater freedom of speech, he must 
follow her, which he accordingly did, as far as the 
Galerie cles Cerfs. There she asked him if she 
had ever spoken to him. He answered that her 
Majesty had done him that honour. She said, 
' Your cloth assures me that I may speak to you 
in confidence,' and she made him promise, under 
the seal of the confessional, to keep the secret of 
what she was going to tell him. He answered 
that in matters of this kind he was blind and 
dumb. She accordingly placed in his hands 
a paper packet sealed in three places, without 
address : bidding him give it back to her, in 
presence of whomsoever she might choose ; 
warning him to mark well the day, hour, and 


place at which she gave him this packet ; which 
he carried away with him. 

" On Saturday, at one o'clock in the afternoon, 
the Queen sent again for him by a Groom of the 
Chambers. The Prior, thinking it would be for 
her packet, took it with him : and following the 
Groom by the door of the donjon, came to the 
Galerie des Cerfs. Scarcely had he come in, 
when the Groom shut the door so hard that it 
alarmed the Prior a little, and seeing the Queen 
in the middle of the Galerie speaking to one of 
her suite, he advanced towards her. Her Majesty, 
in a rather loud voice, asked him for the packet, 
in presence of the Marquis and three other 
persons, of whom two were about four paces from 
the Queen, and the third beside her. ' Father,' 
she said, ' give me the packet I entrusted to you, 
as I wish to read it.' The Prior gave it to her, 
and the Queen having considered it a little, 
opened it, and drew out some letters and papers, 
which she made the Marquis look at and read, 
asking him in a loud and angry voice if he 
recognised them. The Marquis, trembling, said 
they were nothing but copies made by herself. 
* You have,' she said to him, ' no knowledge of 
these letters and papers then ? ' and after letting 
him think a little, she drew out the originals and 
showed them to him, exclaiming, ' 0, the traitor.' 
As soon as he avowed his writing and hand, she 


put several questions to him. The Marquis 
excused himself as well as he could, casting the 
blame on various persons. Finally he threw 
himself at the Queen's feet, imploring her pardon, 
and at the same instant the three persons 
mentioned above drew their swords from the 
scabbards, whither they did not return them 
till they had executed the Marquis. But before 
this consummation he got up, and drawing the 
Queen now into one corner of the Gallery, now 
into another, begged her unceasingly to listen to 
his justification. This she did not refuse, but 
listened to him with great patience and modera- 
tion, without showing by the slightest sign that 
his importunity was displeasing to her. At 
length she drew close to him, leaning on an 
ebony stick with a round handle, and turning 
towards the Prior, said to him, ' Father, see, be 
witness that I hurry nothing, but that I give 
this traitor more time than he could ask from an 
injured person, to set himself right, were that 
possible.' The Marquis, pressed by the Queen, 
gave her certain papers, and two or three little 
keys which he drew from his pocket. This 
conference having lasted for more than an hour, 
and the Marquis not satisfying the Queen, she 
approached the Prior, and said to him, in a loud 
but solemn and measured voice, * Father, I leave 
this man in your hands ; prepare him for death. 


and have care for his soul.' At these words the 
Prior, as terrified as if the sentence was against 
himself, threw himself at her feet, as well as the 
Marquis, to ask his pardon. She said she could 
not grant it, adding that the traitor was more 
criminal than those who were broken on the 
wheel : he knew well she had confided to him 
the most important affairs, and her own most 
private thoughts, as to a faithful subject, without 
wishing to reproach him, in addition, with the 
benefits she had loaded him with, beyond even 
what she would have done for a brother, having 
always considered him as such, and that his own 
conscience must be his executioner. 

" She then went away, leaving the Prior with 
the three men with their swords bared, ready to 
kill him. When she had left them, the Marquis 
cast himself at the feet of the Prior, whom he 
implored to go and beg for his pardon : but the 
three men pressed him to confess himself, holding 
their swords against his body, though without 
wounding him. The Prior, with tears in his 
eyes, exhorted him to ask pardon of God. The 
chief of the three went to find the Queen, to 
implore her mercy for the poor Marquis : but he 
came back again very sad, and said, weeping, 
* Marquis, think upon God and your soul, you 
must die.' The Marquis, beside himself, threw 
himself for the second time at the Prior's feet. 


pressing him to go yet again and ask his pardon 
from the Queen. He did so, and finding the 
Queen in her room, her countenance cahn and 
unmoved, he prostrated himself at her feet ; his 
eyes bathed with tears, his voice choked with 
sobs, he adjured her, by the passion and wounds 
of the Saviour, to have mercy upon the Marquis. 
She tokl him how sorry she was not to be able 
to grant his request, and represented to him the 
blackness of the treachery and cruelty this wretch 
had wished to commit in her regard : that ac- 
cordingly he had neither pardon nor mercy to 
expect ; many were broken on the wheel for less 
crimes than that of this traitor. 

" The Prior, seeing he could accomplish 
nothing by prayers, took the liberty of repre- 
senting to her that she was in the palace of a 
king, and that she could not reflect too much on 
what she was about to do, and whether the king 
would approve it. She answered that she had 
the right to do justice, and took God to witness 
that she had no personal grudge against the 
Marquis : that she had put away all hatred 
against him : that she confined her wrath to the 
enormity of his crime and his treachery, which 
were without parallel, and aflected all the world : 
further, the king was not lodging her as a 
prisoner, or an exile ; she was mistress of her 
own will, and could do justice on her officers, 



everywhere and always ; that she had to answer 
for her action to God alone, adding, that the deed 
was not without precedent. The Prior answered 
that there was a distinction ; that if queens had 
done something similar, it had been in their 
kingdom and not elsewhere. But fearing to 
irritate her, he went on : * Madam, it is by the 
honour and reputation that your Majesty has 
acquired in this kingdom, and by the hope that 
the nation has conceived in her negotiations, that 
T beg you humbly to consider that this action, 
entirely just though it be from your Majesty's 
point of view, may be regarded from others as 
violent and precipitate. Let your Majesty do 
rather an act of generosity and mercy towards 
this poor Marquis, or at any rate place him in 
the hands of the king's justice, and cause his 
trial to take place according to form. Your 
Majesty will get complete satisfaction, and 
preserve by this means the title of Admirable, 
which all your actions have acquired.' *How, 
my father,' she replied. * I, who ought to have 
sovereign and absolute justice over all my 
subjects, should I be reduced to beg it against a 
domestic traitor, for the crime and the perfidy of 
which I hold the proofs, written and signed with 
his own hand ? ' * It is true,' said the Prior, 
*but your Majesty is the interested party.' ' No, 
no, father,' she said, * I will let the king know of 


it ; return and have a care of liis soul, I cannot 
in conscience do what you ask ; ' and so sent 
him away. The Prior remarked by the change 
of tone with which she pronounced the last 
words, that if she could have gone back and 
changed the state of affairs she undoubtedly 
would have done so ; but having gone too far, 
she could no longer draw back without placing 
herself in peril of her life, had the Marquis 

"In this extremity the Prior knew not what 
to do ; he could not go away, and even though he 
could, the duty of charity and his own conscience 
compelled him to prepare the Marquis for an 
edifying death. Accordingly he went back to 
the Gallery, and embracing the poor wretch, 
whom he bathed with his tears, he exhorted him 
in the most energetic and pathetic terms with 
which Grod inspired him to compose himself for 
death, and bethink himself of his conscience, 
since there was no further hope of life for him, 
and that offering and suffering his death through 
justice, he ought to cast upon God alone his 
hopes for eternity, where he would find con- 
solation. At this sorrowful news, after two or 
three loud shrieks, he knelt at the feet of the 
Confessor, who had seated himself upon one of 
the benches in the Gallery, and began his con- 
fession; but after getting well through it, he 

u 2 


got up twice, crying out at tlie same time ; the 
Confessor caused liim to make his acts of faith ; 
renouncing all adverse thoughts he finished his 
confession in Latin, French, and Italian, as he 
could best express himself, in his agony. The 
Almoner of the Queen arrived just as the Con- 
fessor was asking him a question to clear up a 
doubt. The Marquis perceiving him, without 
waiting for absolution, went to him, hoping for 
pardon by his influence ; they spoke together for 
a long time in a low voice, holding each other's 
hands, in a corner ; their conversation ended, the 
Almoner went out, and took with him the chief 
of the three commissioned to execute him. 
Shortly afterwards, the chief returned alone, the 
Almoner remaining away, and said to him, ' Mar- 
quis, ask pardon of Cod, for without any further 
delay you must die ; have you confessed ? ' And 
so saying, he forced him against the wall at the 
end of the Callery, where the picture St. Germain 
is. The Confessor could not turn away so well 
as not to see that he gave him a stab in the 
stomach, towards the right. The Marquis, 
wishing to guard it, seized the sword in his 
right hand; the other, in drawing it back, cut 
off three fingers of his hand, and finding 
his sword blunted, he said to a companion that 
the Marquis was armed underneath, and in fact 
he had a coat of mail weighing nine or ten 


pounds on. He then gave him another stroke in 
the face, at which the Marquis cried out * Father ; ' 
the Confessor drew near him, and the others 
stood aside. Kneeling on one knee he asked 
pardon of God, and added a few words, when the 
Prior gave him absolution, with the penance of 
suffering death patiently for his sins, pardoning 
all who were causing his death ; this received, he 
threw himself on the floor, and as he fell one of 
them gave him a blow on the top of the head, 
carrying away some bone ; as he lay on his 
stomach he made signs for them to cut his head 
off. [They finally kill him after several un- 
successful attempts.] Thus the Marquis ended 
his life at a quarter to four in the afternoon. . . . 
The Queen, assured of the Marquis' death, 
expressed her regret at having been obliged to 
order this execution of the Marquis, but that it 
concerned justice to punish him for his crime 
and treachery, which she prayed God to forgive 
him. She bade the Confessor to be careful and 
take him away and bury him; she sent 200 
livres to the convent, to pray God for the repose 
of the said Marquis' soul." 

From these accounts it is easy to see that at 
any rate the Marquis thoroughly deserved his 
death ; the dastardly traitor was judged out of 
his own mouth. But it is not so easy to settle 
how far Christina was justified in taking this 


method of puuisliing liim. Precedents might 
indeed be quoted, but it is not a case to be 
settled by precedents, or to form one, and re- 
quires to be carefully viewed in its own special 
circumstances. We must, first of all, pay no 
attention to the abuse of her enemies, or the 
sentimentality of women, such as Mademoiselle 
de Montpensier and Madame de Motteville, who 
branded her with brutality, cruelty, and similar 
qualities ; such charges are merely foolish when 
brought against Christina, who was humanity 
and compassion itself, as many instances to be 
related will show ; in the present case, her atti- 
tude was entirely free from anything of the kind, 
and marked by a purely judicial tone befitting 
the occasion. 

The whole point turns on the legal aspect of the 
case ; how far had she a right to exercise the power 
she claimed of life and death oyer the culprit ? 

In this respect it is to be observed : 1. That 
by a special clause in the Act of Abdication, 
Christina retained the absolute and sovereign 
jurisdiction over her servants of all kinds, just 
as though she still sat on the throne ; that she 
appointed and removed at her pleasure her own 
governors, intendants, judges and officers, in her 
domains ; that she received accredited ministers 
and ambassadors from foreign Courts ; and that 
these also recognised hers ; and that in general 


she was after her abdication everywhere treated 
as a Sovereign. 2. That, therefore, leaving to 
the lawyers the question whether or no this 
absolute right could be retained after her abdi- 
cation, and starting merely from the premise 
that it ivas, it is an undoubted fact that Chris- 
tina considered herself to possess this right, and 
is so far morally justified, and that she was 
considered also to possess it by other powers ; 
the French Court raised no objection on this 
head, confining themselves merely to complaining 
that she ought not to have permitted it to take 
place at Fontainebleau. 

We must accordingly decide in favour of 
Christina, with Leibniz, who adds, " That all that 
we can reproach the Queen of Sweden with is, 
that she had not sufficient respect to the place 
where she caused the execution to be performed ; 
yet that even here she might be excused, by the 
necessity she was in of speedy despatch. Chris- 
tina found Monaldeschi deserving of death ; 
it is not hard to judge that his crime was of a 
nature to prevent it from being submitted to a 
third person ; and it would have been ridiculous 
to demand that the Queen should leave such 
a matter to some third person, which must 
necessarily have derogated from her dignity. If 
the Court of France took it ill, it was because it 
no longer had the same regard for her, and 


"because the execution took place in the king's 

Christina had, in fact, exactly the same right 
as any court of law has — a right provided for by 
statute, and, in addition, the moral right that 
lies behind the legal one, a stern regard for the 
interests of justice. Yet the only appropriate 
summing up of so unique a case must be in the 
words of Tacitus, applied to it in her own day by 
a celebrated author : " hahet aliquid ex iniqiio omne 
magnum exemplum." 

Although the French Court took no exception 
to Monaldeschi's execution on the legal score, 
yet it added to their disinclination to see Chris- 
tina at Paris. She remained some time at 
Tontainebleau, during which she sent an am- 
bassador to London, to compliment Oliver 
Cromwell and sound the territory for a visit to 
England. It was said with very little probability 
that Mazarin wished to make use of her diplo- 
matic skill to engage the Protector in his interests, 
and get him to repudiate his wife and marry one 
of his nieces. But Cromwell, for obvious reasons, 
had no wish to see Christina in England, and 
contented himself with returning her com- 

At length, on February 24, 1658, she went to 
Paris, and found herself de irojo. The apartments 
of Mazarin in the Louvre were assigned to her. 


as a hint, says Madame tie Motteville, that she 
was not to stay long ; according to Guy Patin, 
she was not a little displeased at hearing that 
the Queen of* France had said, that if Christina 
did not go, she would. The same authority adds 
that she got 200,000 livres from Mazarin, a 
miracle which is explained by him in another 
place as being a loan on some of her jewels ; but 
it is to be remembered that these writers love 
scandal more than truth. It was during this 
stay at Paris that she went to the French 
Academy, of which visit the following well- 
known story is told. Wishing to show her a 
specimen of the dictionary then in preparation, 
the secretary opened at a page containing the 
word Jeu, in which connection occurred the 
phrase : " Jeit^ de Prince^ qui ne plaisent qua 
eeux qui lesfont." Christina coloured, conceiving 
at first some insult might be intended ; but 
speedily recovered herself, and turned the matter 
off with a smile. 

Perceiving, however, that her stay in Paris 
was not agreeable, Christina shortly afterwards 
left for Toulon, and arrived in Kome on May 4. 
Here she inhabited Mazarin's palace, which, 
taken in conjunction with her recent visit, awoke 
the greatest jealousy and suspicion in the Span- 
iards; they spread plentiful reports of her in- 
tended machinations in behalf of France and 


England. Thus, by dint of favouring neither 
party, Christina was regarded by each as in the 
interests of the other. To all this she paid, as 
usual, no attention, and applied herself to forming 
her establishment, a matter of no small difficulty. 
She was at all times too regardless of accounts, 
but her straits were extreme at the present 
moment by reason of events in the North. The 
wars of Charles X. with Denmark and Poland 
not only demanded all the money he could get, 
but made it impossible for Pomerania, continually 
occupied by troops, to pay Christina her fixed 
stipend ; her revenues were at once curtailed and 
in arrear. She was obliged to pawn her plate 
and jewels. Finding that letters to her agent. 
Senator Baat, produced no effect, she sent her 
secretary, Davison, to remonstrate with Charles. 
He was by no means unwilling to do what he 
could for her, but insisted on political grounds, 
before he saw Davison, that he should declare 
himself to be no Koman Catholic, since the 
rumour was going about in Sweden that Christina 
had designs of converting the Swedes. Davison, 
who was, in fact, one of those of her servants 
whom she had persuaded to change his faith, 
wrote to consult her as to what he should do. 
She replied : — 

" I believe you so little suited to be a martyr 
that I will not advise you to expose yourself to 


tlie danger of doing anything mean to save your 
life. Honour and life are two things which are 
worthy, as it seems to me, of attention. If you 
were to deny or disguise your religion, you 
would save neither, were you to present yourself 
to me. One must live and die a Catholic ; if 
you fail in this, you will be unworthy to be 
servant of mine. Let not the threats of the 
King of Sweden astonish you : do not consider 
them, but come back to me . . . Don't dare to 
return unless you can give evidence of never 
having swerved in your faith." 

Davison returned accordino-lv, and Christina 
remained without money. She is said to have 
frequently complained of the folly of Charles in 
engaging in a war disastrous for Sweden, and to 
have asserted that if the Emperor and the Elector 
would give her an army, she would lead it 
against Charles herself, and take Pomerania and 
Bremen from him, on condition that she should 
enjoy their revenues during her life : to revert to 
the Emperor on her death. And she sent Sen- 
tinelli to Vienna to ask for an army of twenty 
thousand men under General Montecuculi for 
that purpose. The Court of Vienna is said to 
have lent an ear to this strange proposal ; though 
it came to nothing, as Christina changed her 

In the pecuniary difficulties which now harassed 


her, she was assisted by the Pope, who gave her 
an income of 12,000 scudi a year, and assigned 
Cardinal Azzolini to her as intendant of her 
domestic economy. His skill succeeded in in- 
troducing a better state of her finances, and his 
qualities were such as to extract her admiration ; 
all through her life she preserved an extraordinary 
esteem for him. He was a fine-looking man, of 
very great culture and universal abilities, one 
of the chiefs of the " flying squadron," and had 
taken a prominent part in the election of the 
Pope. Christina writes of him to a friend as 
" the only man she knows equally above flattery 
or envy. He has," she says in another place, 
" the mind and cleverness of a demon, the virtue 
of an angel, and the great and noble heart of an 
Alexander " : " the Cardinal is a divine and in- 
comparable man." Much as she admired Conde, 
Cromwell, and one or two others, she seems to 
have placed Azzolini above them all. 

Freed by his assistance from immediate diffi- 
culty, she devoted herself to study and literature. 
Her house was the resort of the most cultivated 
men in Rome. She augmented her collections of 
medals, statues and paintings, and took great 
interest in chemistry and astronomy. Her enemies 
have accused her of leanings to alchemy and 
astrology ; even were this true, her age might be 
her excuse. Wallenstein believed in the stars, 


if ill nothing else, and even Kiclielieu in his 
difficulties lent an ear to the promises of one who 
was to make him gold. But we shall see reason 
in the sequel to doubt the truth of these accu- 

Her intellectual pursuits were varied by 
quarrels with the Pope. In these squabbles it 
has always been assumed that Christina was in 
the wrong, but the facts point otherwise. Pope 
Alexander YII. was a man of Liliputian mind. 
Cardinal de Retz, a judge of character, calls him 
" a man of minutise : a sign not only of a little 
mind, but of a mean soul. Sj)eaking one day of 
one of his youthful studies, he told me that he 
had written for two years with the same pen. 
This is but a hagatelle, but as I have often 
observed, little things often tell more than big 
ones." Furthermore, the Spanish faction was 
continually attributing to Christina designs of 
which she was entirely innocent, and this not 
unnaturally irritated her. Hence the attempt 
to thwart her in trivial matters. She wished to 
marry Sentinelli to the Duchess of Ceri. The 
Pope endeavoured to dissuade her ; but failing 
in this, he sent the Duchess into a cloister, and 
banished Sentinelli from Rome. This annoyance 
was soon succeeded by others. Rumours were 
spread about that Christina wished to raise forces 
for France against Naples : the Pope accordingly 


published an edict, that uo one shoiikl raise forces 
of any kind on pain of death, and placed guards 
round her palace. Excessively disgusted, 
Christina exchansred all her Italian servants for ■ 
foreign ones, and, perceiving the origin of all 
these pitiful suspicions, withdrew from Mazarin's 
palace, and took up her abode at a convent; 
whence the Parisian gossips bruited about that 
she was intendino- to take the veil. Here the 
Pope caused her to be spied on by the^ monks 
.and ecclesiastics. This espionnage, the crowning 
proof of his womanish pusillanimity, at once 
outraged Christina and convinced her that she 
did not well to be angry ; she kept her temper, 
and appeared in public with a serene and cheerful 
•countenance, endeavouring to appease the jealous 
Spaniards by causing some of her attendants to 
xidopt a Spanish fashion of wearing their accoutre- 
ments, and taking revenge on the Pope by the 
means best suited to his nature, satirical contempt. 
The papal arms were six hills ; Christina appended 
the appropriate motto : Partiiriunt monies, naseefur 
ridiculus mus. 

In this state of things, two pieces of news 
.arrived from Sweden which drew her thousfhts 
away to that country. The first was that a cer- 
tain woman, of the name of Anne Gyldener, had 
given herself out to be Christina, and deceiveda 
few people at Norkoping, though the fraud was 


speedily discovered, and the impostor punislied 
and banished from Sweden. The second, of more 
importance, was the death of Charles X., on 
February 13, 1660. During his five years' reign 
he had found time to give proof of his daring 
military audacity, as well as of an entire want of 
23olicy ; the glory of his victories over Poland, 
Brandenburg, and Denmark was soon effaced 
by his subsequent failure in his last attempt on 
the latter country, arising from his inability to 
let well alone. The Swedes found themselves left 
at his death with little but the hatred of Europe 
and the exhaustion of their finances. But if 
among the people there were found some who 
regretted the peace policy of Christina, such was 
by no means the opinion of the noble oligarchy. 
Now at last they felt they had their chance. 

Duke Adolphus, who, with, among others, 
Magnus de la Gardie, had been appointed one 
of the Kegents by his brother, the late Xing, 
informed Christina of his death. She replied in 
R letter, recommending to his care the good 
education of the young King, and intimating her 
intention of coming to Sweden to settle the 
difficulties in her own affairs. She left home on 
July 20th, and arrived in Hamburg on August 
18th. There, hearing that her visit to Sweden 
was not pleasing to the ruling faction in that 
country, she wrote letters to her agent Baat, and 


Bralie, one of the Regents, assuring tliem of lier 
intentions, and hoping that the Swedes would 
support her claims. She then passed through 
Denmark, and was received in great state by the 
King, who sent her on to Helsingborg in one of 
his own vessels. In answer to a letter from 
Brahe, warning her not to come to Sweden, she 
wrote again, saying she could not comply with 
his request, and congratulating him on being a 
liberator of his country. This was an allusion to 
his share in getting Duke Adolphus excluded from 
the Regency; the violent and altogether abomi- 
nable character of the Duke made this a real 
necessity for Sweden, though the struggle to get 
him put aside nearly caused a civil war. 

Meanwhile her approach filled the Regents 
with apprehension. Her French enemies, fearing 
she might interfere with their designs, secretly 
accused her to the Swedes of coming to try and 
introduce the Catholic religion. But in fact she 
had no such design ; nor was there any need of 
adding to the hostility against her : although 
she was still very popular with the people, the 
nobles and the clergy were her bitter enemies. 
Chief among these were Brahe, who went so far 


as to propose to shut her up in prison at Aland, 
and her old ])rotege Magnus de la Gardie. It 
was decided to send Baron Linde, to meet her and 
prevent her from coming to Stockholm ; but he 


did not succeed ; Christina arrived on October 1st, 
and was received with great attention by the 
young king and his mother ; she was lodged in 
rooms in the castle which had once been her own. 

With regard now to those reports that were 
spread about, that she was aiming at regaining 
possession of the crown, at being appointed 
guardian of the young king, and so on, the 
following extract from a letter of Algernon 
Sydney to the Earl of Leicester, dated September 
8th, 1660, proves that they sprang entirely from 
the fears and suspicions of her enemies : — 

" I left the Queen Christina at Hamburg, with 
a design of going into Sweden, before the time 
of the Diet, which is to begin the 22nd of this 
month at Stockholm. She is thought to have 
great designs, of which every one judges accord- 
ing to their humour ; some think she will pretend 
to the Crown, others, that she would be content 
with the Kegency, and there doth not want those 
that say she is employed from Rome to sow 
divisions in Sweden, and to make use of the 
Prince Adolph his discontent ; others, to marry 
him. I have conversed a good deal with her and 
do not believe a word of all this. She hath a 
great aversion to the Prince Adolph, thinks him 
not to be trusted with anything, nor capable of 
any great business ; when she resigned the Crown 
she did publicly advise the Senate not to admit 



that Prince unto the Crown in case his brother 
should die without sons, he being unfit for govern- 
ment, of an evil nature, and of understanding no- 
wise able to bear such a weight : upon which by 
an act of the Senate, confirmed by the succeeding 
Diet, it was declared that the Crown should 
descend only to the heirs male of the King's body, 
and these failing the power of election should 
revert unto the Senate and Diet. This is the 
obstruction unto Prince Adolph his pretention to 
be Constable, lest, that he having the power of 
the Militia in his hands might either attempt 
something to the prejudice of the young King, 
or if he died strengthen his own pretensions. 
Notwithstanding this he did write to the Queen 
Christina, earnestly endeavouring to engage her, 
and offering great services if she would favour 
him. The contents of this letter were reported 
to me, and I saw the answer, which if he is not 
absolutely out of his wits will take from him all 
hope of advantage from her. A day or two 
before I came from Hamburg, talking with her 
of the opinions people had of her pretensions to 
the Crown, or Eegency, she told me plainly there 
was but one place for her in Sweden, and having 
resigned that, she could neither pretend again 
unto it, nor content herself with any other. I do 
not believe this merely because she said it (for 
I am in this year's employment grown much less 


credulous than I was), but because the impossi- 
bility of effecting anything is so plain that she, 
who has a great deal of wit, and as good counsel 
as any is perhaps in Europe, cannot but see it. 
For besides the aversion that is to her religion, 
and the little appearance that the jealous Swedes 
would give credit to her change, if she left it, the 
Senate and nobility like no government so well 
as while the kings are in minority ; for now they 
have the power in their own hands, whereas before 
they depended on the will of a king, and will 
more hardly be brought to innovate anything 
perhaps than when their last King was living. 
This and many other reasons do convince me 
that her only business is to procure of the Diet 
the settlement of her yearly revenue of two 
hundred thousand dollars, reserved out of her 
resignation, of which for the last five years she 
received but the tenth part, and this being done 
to return to Rome where she hath great designs, 
of which I may speak more hereafter, and there she 
intends to live and die. The French ambassador 
hath order to serve her as much as he can, and 
she hath been persuaded to stay at Hamburg 
until he could have an answer to the letters he 
sent to Stockholm, concerning her reception, 
which caution is very necessary, for though all 
the principal persons of the Senate owe their 
fortunes to her, no man can undertake that if 

X 2 


she should go there without an engagement 
for her security, she may not pass the rest of 
her life in some castle in Sweden, instead of her 
palace at Rome." 

The last hint was, as we have seen, not un- 
founded, for there was some talk among the 
Regents to that effect ; yet want of courage was 
not Christina's failing, and she went to Stockholm 
unconcerned by the warnings her friends gave her. 

The Diet was held on October 19th, and she 
sent a memorial to the Senate, asking for the 
confirmation of the act relative to her abdication 
in the past reign, and claiming her revenues. 
The other Orders found her demands reasonable, 
but not so did the clergy. Their rancour towards 
Christina was redoubled on seeing that she had 
IMass celebrated every day at a room in the 
Castle fitted up as a chapel. They demanded 
time to consider, and employed the interval in 
liilminating against her from the pulpit, and 
endeavouring to rouse the popular religious 
prejudices against her. Their answer to the 
memorial was to the effect : That by reason of 
her change of faith, she had forfeited her rights ; 
which nevertheless they were willing to continue, 
not in virtue of the former act, but purely as a 
recognition of the merits of her ancestors ; yet 
they could not permit her to exercise papistical 
idolatries in sight of the apartments of the 


young King. To this sentiment the other Estates 
gave their sanction. A deputation waited upon 
Christina and forbade her to perform the Catholic 
services. Her entreaties and expostulations were 
of no avail ; after a stormy interview, Archbishop 
Lenseus said, on going away, " We know well 
what the Pope is aiming at, and how he wants to 
get our souls." "I know him better than you 
do," retorted Christina; "he would not give four 
dollars for all your souls put together." 

On December 23rd, her chapel was pulled 
down, and her priests and Italian attendants 
banished from the country. In spite of this, she 
continued to attend the Catholic service at the 
house of M. de Terlon, the French Minister, who 
had accompanied her to Sweden, and she sent to 
certify this to the Pope, to parade the fact that 
her faith was her first consideration. She now 
withdrew to Norkoping, thinking that she might 
be less molested there while her affairs were 
being settled. Having at length received this 
confirmation of her revenues, she sent to the 
Estates a declaration, that in the event of any- 
thing happening to the young King, the right to 
the Crown would revert to her, nor could they 
settle the succession without her. But they 
would not hear of it; the Senate returned her 
declaration within an hour, and she had to sign 
another act of abdication renouncing in toto all 


claims to the throne of Sweden. She did so 
willingly ; nor is there anything to show that 
her declaration was anything more than a protest 
against what she feared might come to pass, in 
the event of the death of the delicate young 
King. Luckily her forebodings were not realized. 
The action of the clergy left her no doubt of 
their real fears. They pursued her at Norkoping, 
and prevailed on the Senate to forbid her to 
perform Mass in her own house. This, as they 
foresaw, was to banish her from Sweden. The 
final outrage on her feelings was her discovery 
that Terserus, Bishop of Abo, had boasted in 
letters written to Germany of having seen her 
weeping and sobbing over her change of religion, 
and heard her bitterly repent of having done so : 
Terserus, whom she had protected when accused 
of taking part in the Messenius conspiracy ! She 
wrote an indignant letter to the King, asking 
that the Bishop might be punished for his 
scandalous allegations, and reproaching him for 
his ingratitude ; for this charge touched her 
*more nearly than anything else. The Kegents 
promised to look into the matter, but Terserus 
excused himself, and nothing was done. As to 
the interdiction placed upon her from exercising 
her religion, Christina wrote a biting letter to 
Baat, praying him to send her her money, and 
let her go. This seems to have produced the 


desired effect, and her enemies perhaps felt a 
little ashamed of themselves. Thereupon she 
returned to Hamburg on May 16. 

She remained here more than a year, occupied 
principally in the settlement of the never-ending 
difficulties in her money affairs. From a minute 
by Texeira, her business man, we learn that 
instead of the 200,000 crowns due to her, she 
received but little more than half. The pensions, 
however, which she bestowed on various persons, 
such as Matthiae, her old nurse, Anna von Linde, 
and others, were always punctually paid. She 
amused herself by making occasional visits to 
neighbouring states, and by chemical investi- 
gations, with the assistance of one Borri, an 
alchemist, who combined the usual trades of 
gold maker and beggar. That she did not, as 
her enemies asserted, become a convert also to 
alchemy is proved not only by her known views 
on that study, but also by the fact that Borri, 
who left her suddenly and met with better success 
with Frederick III. of Denmark, disliked and 
abused her ; he subsequently fell into the hands 
of a Papal Nuncio and died in the Castle of St. 
Angelo. She befriended the unfortunate scholar 
Lambecius, who by her aid and recommendation 
went to Kome, became a Catholic, and librarian 
to the Emperor. 

If the charges of Terserus needed refutation. 


tliey would find it in the attempt slie made to 
secure free exercise of their religion to the 
Catholics in Denmark and Holland, writing letters 
for that purpose to all the continental courts, 
though her efforts were unsuccessful. She failed 
also in her attempts to rouse the European Powers 
to assist Venice against the Turks, sending Count 
Galeazzo Gualdo, her envoy, round with circular 
letters. But the accuracy of her political fore- 
sight was proved by the events of a few years 
later, when John Sobieski saved Europe from the 
danger she feared. 

In April, 1662, she left Hamburg, and arrived 
in Rome on June 10. Two months later some 
disputes in Rome, which threatened to produce 
serious disagreement between France and the 
Pope, afforded her an opportunity of playing her 
favourite part of peacemaker. 

The Due de Crequi, the French ambassador at 
Rome, partly owing to his own self-importance, 
partly perhaps to differences with the Papal 
Court, originated the quarrel. He and his suite 
fought openly in the streets with the Pope's 
Corsican police and body-guard. The latter 
being severely handled in a street fray, retorted 
by besieging the Duke's palace, the Farnese, and 
firing on his wife and attendants at the moment 
they were returning home. The insult was keenly 
resented by Louis XIV. ; he withdrew his 


ambassador from Kome, expelled the Papal 
Nuncio from France, and sent a threatening 
manifesto to the Pope ; at the same time he 
seized on Avignon, and threatened to march into 
Italy. The Pope, who had not considered the 
matter in so serious a light, was obliged to send 
his nephew. Cardinal Chigi, and Cardinal Im- 
periali to Paris to apologise, besides getting rid 
of his Corsican guard, and erecting a monument 
to commemorate the fact. Christina attempted 
by repeated letters to Louis and his Minister, 
M. de. Lionne, to mollify his anger and mediate 
between him and the Pope ; her trouble was how- 
ever thrown away, though the latter showed his 
appreciation of her attempts by paying her a 
complimentary visit soon afterwards. 

The perpetual confusion in her revenues caused 
her to think about revisiting Sweden, with the 
view of trying whether her presence could effect 
what was apparently impossible by letter, and 
getting her money paid with at least a show of 
regularity. She informed her Swedish agents of 
her intention ; this at once renewed the jealous 
suspicion of the Lutherans, that she was the 
agent of a scheme to introduce Papistry into 
the country. Such a thing never entered her 
head. When proposals were entertained at Paris 
and Rome for sending Jesuits for that purpose 
into Sweden, " It would only be to send them to 


their deaths," said Christina, " for as to con- 
verting the regular Swedish Lutherans, it is an 
absolute impossibility." But it was with her 
designs as with the whereabouts of the Caliph 
Vathek — "nothing being known of them, a 
thousand ridiculous stories got about." She 
left Rome in 1666, and arrived in Hamburg 
towards the end of the year. Here she remained 
some time, corresponding with Baat, and pro- 
posing various means of improving her supply — 
such as letting some of her domains on lease, of 
which the Swedish Government did not approve. 
On April 29, she left for Sweden, via Denmark, 
and was again transported by the Danish King 
to Helsingborg, where Pontus de la Gardie was 
awaiting her. But they had not gone further 
than Jonkoping when they were met by a courier, 
forbidding her to bring a Catholic priest with 
her, otherwise he would be dealt with according 
to law — a measure adopted in consequence of a 
meeting held by the Queen-dowager and the 
Regents, to provide for the safety of religion 
and the State against Christina's supposed 
designs. Christina at once declared that after 
such an insult she would not only not dismiss 
her priest, but herself leave the country. In 
answer to the entreaties of de la Gardie, she 
consented to wait at Norkoping till a courier 
could be sent to the Senate and return. The 


Senate, however, had foreseen the effect this 
would have upon her, which was exactly what 
they wanted ; they sent back the messenger 
reiterating their first injunction, with the addition 
that if she proceeded she would not be allowed 
to hear Mass at all, either at the house of the 
French, or any other ambassador. Uj)on this, 
Christina no longer delayed her departure, dis- 
missing the escort that had been sent by the 
King to escort her. At the towns through which 
she passed the people thronged around, expressing 
their sympathy, and declaring that during her 
reign the land had been crowned with all kinds 
of blessings, but had since been worn out with 
all sorts of misfortunes. She only took four 
days in going from Norkoping to Helsingborg, a 
distance of three hundred miles ; young Pontus 
de la Gardie was unable to perform such rapid 
marches as herself, being laid up with fatigue 
on his arrival. She arrived again at Hamburg 
in June, 1667. 

The Kegents had gained their end for the 
moment; but their harsh usage worked in her 
favour; the country was generally ashamed of 
the scant ceremony shown to her by the ruling 
oligarchy, and as we shall see, even the clergy 
relaxed their zeal a little when they found their 
suspicions of her designs were without foundation. 

While she waited at Hamburg, uncertain 


what course to adopt, Pope Alexander VII. died, 
— an event that had been for some time expected ; 
Christina wrote in September, 1666, " that she 
did not believe the Pope would remain so well 
as his relations, nor so ill as the rest of the world 
hoped." She expresses in another letter her 
doubts as to the intentions of the " squadron," 
and the chances of the election of various car- 
dinals. In fact, she felt considerable anxiety as 
to who would replace him ; she feared it might 
be Farnese, with whom she did not stand well. 
It was accordingly with no small delight that 
she received news of the election of Rospigliosi, 
Clement IX., her most particular friend. She 
did not confine her joy to letters of congratu- 
lation. On July 15, she celebrated Mass in 
honour of his accession in the Great Hall of her 
palace, which had been decorated with special 
illuminations, representing, among other things, 
the arms of the new Pope : the Eucharist adored 
by angels in the clouds ; and the Church tramp- 
ling on heresy, with vivat clemens ix., font. 
MAX. To the crowd which assembled to assist 
she caused a fountain to flow with wine from 
nine different spouts at once, wherewith " all the 
world got drunk for six hours, and the noble 
ladies at the windows looked out upon the scene." 
The copious streams having at last ceased, the 
illuminations were all set alight ; and the im- 


pious spectacle added rage to the drunken ex- 
citement of the mob. Just as the Queen was 
thinking of going to bed a quantity of large 
stones broke her windows ; learning what was 
the matter, she gave orders to extinguish the 
illuminations and shut the gates of the palace ; 
she also armed her domestics, but in spite of the 
attacks of the populace, and their menacing shouts 
of " kill ! kill ! " assisted by the discharge of fire- 
arms, she would not allow any return of the 
shots, till on repeated attempts to force the 
gate, real danger seemed to be imminent ; a 
volley was then fired on the crowd, which killed 
a good many and wounded others. Christina 
escaped by a back-door to another house, and the 
arrival of the commandant and the military put 
an end to the disturbance. Next morning, she 
went at nine o'clock, in spite of remonstrances, 
at which she laughed, to look at her palace : 
although she found several thousand people as- 
sembled before it, and was attended by only two 
or three persons, no violence was offered her. 

We might suspect that the liberal supply of 
wine had most to do with the violence of the 
crowd ; but we are told that the whole town knew 
of her design a week before, and various friends 
endeavoured to dissuade her from it. " The 
preachers did all they could to arouse the popu- 
lace against it ; but the Queen, who was informed 


of all this, laughed at them, and let them preach, 
paying them no attention, which enraged them ; " 
they are probably to blame for the attack, as 
the mob was found possessed of the necessary 
weapons ; and " some of them were on the spot, 
haranguing, at the time." Christina distributed 
money for the benefit of those who were wounded 
in the affray ; but nothing further came of it, 
though she remained at Hamburg for more than 
a year after to settle her money matters before 
returning to Rome. 

At the Diet of 1668, all orders in the State 
were favourable to her demands, which she sent 
by her agent, Rosenhane. They decreed that 
the original terms of her act of abdication should 
be observed ; that her arrears should be paid ; 
and that she and her suite should be allowed the 
free exercise of their religion when she visited 
Sweden. This, however, she did not do again : 
partly because it was now no longer necessary ; 
partly because of the dissuasions of her friends, 
who feared lest violence might be employed 
against her ; partly again, because her attention 
was turned in other directions. The course of 
events sufficiently proves what she wrote to her 
friend Azzolini, " that the people loved her ; only 
the ruling faction hated and feared her, of which 
time would give him the proof." 

A letter she wrote to Bourdelot at this period 


shows, among other things, how correctly she 
estimated Louis XIV. 

" You gratify me by not sending me all the 
rubbish that has been made upon the Flanders* 
campaign. I can imagine the sort of thing ; 
I pity those poor Cyruses, Alexanders, and Caesars 
so much that I can scarcely think them worth 
more than to be mere musketeers. I love great 
actions as much as any one, but I don't like 
panegyrics ; and my taste for satires is so great 
that I am fond of reading even those against 
myself (the number is large enough, thank God !) 
to amuse myself at my own expense, after having 
done so often at the expense of others. I say, 
at my own expense, because all I have seen as 
yet are so silly and impertinent that it would 
have been impossible to read them if they had 
not spoken ill of me. ... As to the transfusion of 
blood, I think it's a fine invention ; but I shouldn't 
like to try it on myself, for fear of turning into 
a sheep : if I must be metamorphosised, I should 
much prefer to become a lioness, so as to avoid 
being eaten. I'm well enough, and laugh at all 
doctors and medicines ; but to enjoy perfect 
health my sovran receipt is to go to Kome. At 
any rate in case of need, to show you that I 
understand more than you animals about the 
transfusion of blood, I am determined to make 
use of a German, who bears of all the animals I 
know the least likeness to a man." 


( 320 ) 


In October 1668, Christina took leave of lier 
friends with a grand farewell banquet, and left 
Hamburg for Kome, which she entered for the 
last time on November 22. The new Pope met 
her with a train of fifty carriages, each drawn by 
six horses, an augury of what was to come ; during 
his brief two years' reign the stream of various 
and cultivated enjoyment flowed on so easily and 
gently that this has sometimes been called the 
golden age of Kome. No disputes interfered to 
break the harmonious friendship between him 
and Christina, who from this time ceased to be a 
rolling stone, but contented herself with gathering 
moss, becoming, as she afterwards told Burnet, 
one of the antiquities of Eome. 

She made, however, one attempt to gain a more 
important position in that same year. The 
abdication of John Casimir, while she was still at 
Hamburg, in September, offered her a chance 
of obtaining a crown not hampered by Lutheran 
tenets. Her family connection with Poland 
gave her, if we forget her sex for the moment, 
advantages over the other candidates such as 
Conde and the Czar of Kussia. She applied 
herseK to her canvas with energy and skill. She 


sent Father Hacki, a Cistercian, himself a Pole 
and her chaplain, as envoy to the Papal Nuncio 
at Warsaw. He was instructed to emphasize 
the fact, that she was the last surviving repre- 
sentative of the royal line of Sweden and Poland ; 
that she would never have quitted the throne of 
Sweden had it been a Catholic country, or had 
there been any hope of its ever becoming such ; 
that it would be to their interest to elect her, 
inasmuch as, she being neither of an age nor an 
inclination to marry, the succession would be 
left free at her death. The Pope wrote strongly 
to the Nuncio in her favour, saying that the 
matter was of the first importance with him, and 
that he would have him use all means possible to 
make it succeed. In opposition to the objections 
made on the score of her sex and unmarried 
state, she pleaded two precedents in Polish 
history as to the first ; as to the second, nothing, 
she said, not even the empire of the world, would 
make her yield; on this point she desires her 
envoy to avoid committing himself, but use 
ambiguous language and raise hopes in the Poles 
that she might accede after the election. The 
Pope wrote personally to recommend her to the 
Diet. But neither Christina, nor the rivals she 
most feared, were ultimately successful. The Poles, 
who had their own reasons for wishing for a weak 
king, elected Duke Wisnowiski, a Pole, whose 



three years' reign was nothing but a sea of troubles 
with which he was incapable of coping. Christina 
sent her congratulations to the new King, and 
accepted her failure with unconcern. 

Her enemies have always pointed to this 
canvas for the throne of Poland as evincing her 
repentance for resigning the crown of her own 
country. But this rests on a misunderstanding. 
Her own abdication was no sublime contempt for 
earthly things, but, as she thought, necessitated 
by the claims of religion ; all the evidence we 
have goes to endorse her statement to her envoy, 
that had it been possible for her to become a 
Catholic and remain Queen of Sweden, she would 
have done so ; the key to the apparent incon- 
sistencies of her career is to be found in her 
conviction" that one must live and die a Catholic." 
Those who insist upon interpreting her motives 
in the light of their own fancies rather than the 
facts, can, of course, make out inconsistency and 
contradiction wherever they please. 

For the remaining twenty years of her life 
she lived in Kome, observing with interest the 
course of European politics, as a critic and 
spectator ; her own time she divided between the 
social intercourse and amusements, and the study 
and patronage of science and literature. Her 
hand was always open to assist eminent men in 
distress. She was constantly engaged in writing 


to Sweden, and sending messengers to look after 
her money matters, which were a source of 
perennial annoyance to her. It would not repay 
our efforts to follow out these wearisome negotia- 
tions in detail; it is sufficient to say that her 
revenues were always in arrear. " I wish," she 
writes to her agent, " you would send me money, 
or teach me how to live without it. No one 
pays me, but every one expects me to pay them." 
This may be taken as her chronic position; 
owing to the perpetual disturbances in the North 
it could hardly have been otherwise. 

In the literary society of Bome she became a 
prominent figure and influence. Out of the 
receptions held in the garden of her palace 
arose the celebrated Arcadian Academy ; although 
it was definitely constituted only after her death, 
yet it took its origin from her, and its members 
always recognised her as their founder, cele- 
brating her anniversary with poetical funeral 
rites. Each member represented and was named 
after some shepherd of Arcadia ; their annually 
elected president was the Gustos, or Guardian of 
the flock; the arms a syrinx, crowned with 
pine and laurel. The qualifications for member- 
ship were nobility, whether of rank or nature, 
ladies not being excluded, provided that they 
showed a taste for poetical culture ; and the 
principal Academy had various colonies affiliated 

Y 2 


to it in Italy. Its aim was to promote the 
cultivation of poetry, especially Italian, and 
to purify style. Moral and aesthetic questions 
were favourite subjects of discussion, but no 
topic of philosophic interest was excluded ; only 
satire, mutual admiration, or panegyric, especially 
of the Queen, was : expressly tabooed. Any one 
of Lander's Imaginary Conversations will give us 
an idea of what went on. 

If we are inclined to think little of academical 
patronage, and the literary hothouse growth it 
produces, we must not forget that such things 
were in the taste of that age. The French 
Academy was founded by Kichelieu in 1635, and 
arose from very similar beginnings. In Italy, 
they were so to speak indigenous. They spring 
naturally out of the soil, wherever, as in Greece 
or Italy, hot afternoons and j)lane trees invite 
two or three to gather together in the name of 
philosophy ; and their influence has been great, 
if not in original creation, yet in stimulating 
and inducing a higher level of culture. "I 
think," says Ranke, " we may venture to affirm 
that Christina exerted a powerfully efficient and 
enduring influence on the period, more par- 
ticularly on Italian literature, and in substituting 
a purer and more masculine style for the labyrinth 
of perverted metaphor, inflated extravagance, 
laboured conceit, and vapid triviality into which 


Italian poetry and eloquence had wandered ; " 
" we meet in the Albani library of Rome with 
essays by Italian Abbati, with emendations from 
the hand of a Northern Queen." Crescembeni 
spoke with admiration of her Italian style. She 
continued to add to her collections of pictures, 
medals, and manuscripts : it was by her assistance 
that Spanheim was enabled to produce his 
valuable treatise on medals. " The Correggios 
of her collection have always been esteemed the 
choicest ornament of any gallery into which they 
might pass ; " " the Vatican owes much of its 
reputation to her MSS.," which it purchased 
after her death. 

The generosity she showed in assisting people 
in difficulties was doubled by the way she gave. 
To Archbishop Angelo della Noce, a member of 
the Academy, a very learned and very poor man, 
she afforded the means of living according to his 
rank. Hearing one day of his great immediate 
need for money, she sent him 200 ducats, with 
a note : " I send you 200 ducats, which do not 
come up to your deserts or my desire ; but you 
have your revenge in my blushes ; do not men- 
tion a word of it to any one, if you would not 
mortally offend the Queen." Nicolas Pallavicini 
wrote an enthusiastic panegyric upon her, which 
was never published on account of fifty-four 
heresies discovered in it. Menzini, another 


member, was indebted to iier for his livelihood, 
which he gratefully recorded in his poetry. 
Alexandro Guidi she assisted both with her purse 
and her advice ; a pastoral entitled Endymion 
is still extant with corrections from her hand. 
He became a member of the Academy in 1683, 
and obtained by her influence a situation in the 
Pope's household. Filicaja she assisted in a still 
more material way — paying for the education of 
his two sons, on condition that no one should 
know of it, and put her to the blush, as she said, 
for having done so little for a man she esteemed 
so much. In return, Filicaja begged to be 
allowed to sing her praises in an ode ; but Chris- 
tina earnestly dissuaded him. "I should not 
like you to think I wished you to praise me ; 
those who gave you such an idea have done me 
great wrong ; do not waste your time and talents 
on me." 

Her dislike of flattery is worth noticing, for 
no one was ever so much belauded as she was, 
and it has done her almost as much harm as the 
abuse of her enemies. To Holsteinius, who 
arranged and catalogued her library at Home for 
her, she wrote from Pesaro in 1657 : — 

" Mr. Holsteinius : I should be offended at the 
things you have written of me to Cardinal Omodei, 
if I did not consider that you have done more 
harm to yourself than to me, in wishing to pass 


me off as learned. My ignorance will always 
give you the lie ; you can only justify yourself 
by confessing you wished to flatter me, and 
thereby again you incriminate yourself. What 
good do you derive from all the study you have 
given to the ancient philosophers, if you have not 
learned from their writings to instruct Princes 
rather than to flatter them? If, however, you 
have abandoned the school of the divine Plato 
for that of Aristippus, at any rate do not quit 
the Vatican ; flatter the Koman patrons, instead 
of wasting your time in flattering those who have 
need of being, not flattered, but instructed by 
you. What is the use of giving me out as learned, 
if I am not? Kemember, too, that Aristippus 
only flattered those from whom he thought he 
might get something ; in like manner he believed 
it allowable for the wise man to become thief, 
liar, murderer, adulterer, if occasion required. 
It is not your flattery, then, that I blame, but 
that you have addressed it to the wrong person, 
for in giving me out for learned, who will believe 
you, if I do not myself ? " 

Again, she writes to de Court, a member of the 
Academy, in 1679 : — 

" I wish the fine passage in your letter of the 
10th instant was better applied ; though it does 
not suit me, it applies admirably to one of my 
friends, who is well-known to you, Cardinal 


Azzolini ; he alone is worthy of your praises for 
his admirable qualities. But I see you are in- 
corrigible, and that it is useless to quarrel with 
you on this head. Yet you are also insincere : 
you say you know incense does not please me ; 
if so, why do you lavish it on me by the hand- 
ful, as you do ; you see you are caught." 

In addition to literature, mathematics and 
astronomy were subjects that took up much of 
her time. She used to sit up at night with her 
astronomer, Cassini, who discovered a comet in 
the Chigi palace in her presence in 1664, and 
predicted its route. She befriended the cele- 
brated mathematician and physiologist, Borelli, 
in his poverty; his treatise, " Be Motu Animalium" 
a most important contribution to physiological 
science, she caused to be printed at her own ex- 

Occasionally she perpetrated a harmless jest at 
the expense of the savans with whom she came in 
contact. She was always fond of medals, and 
thought of arranging the great number she had 
struck of herself in biographical series (which has 
been done since). She had one medal struck in 
Eome containing on the one side her bust ; on the 
other a phoenix rising from the flames, with the 
word MAKEAHZ. It was not till the antiquaries 
had puzzled their heads for some time over this 
strange Greek word, that she revealed it was a 


Swedish word in Greek cliaracters, meaning both. 
" incomparable " and " virgin." 

Panegyric was not the only language in which 
she was addressed ; sometimes we find her ex- 
pressing her contempt for her hostile critics, 
whose name was legion. " How ridiculous," she 
exclaims, " are all these absurdities about Mon- 
aldeschi ! All Westphalia may persist in be- 
lieving him innocent if they choose ; it is quite 
indifferent to me." Another time she found a 
treatise, written to lay bare the motives of her 
conversion to Kome, and wrote on the fly-leaf 
words that have become proverbial : " clii V ha sa, 
710 V ha mai scritta ; e chi V ha scritta, no V ha sa " — 
i.e. " The knower writes nothing, and the writer 
knows nothing " ; or we might translate it best 
by her hero Conde's remark to the Cardinal de 
Eetz : " These rascals make us talk and act as 
they would have done themselves in our place." 

In 1674, in spite of her claims to indifference, 
she was greatly annoyed by the publication ol 
Chanut's Memoires, by Linage de Vanciennes ; 
she writes to Bourdelot, complaining of the great 
injustice done to herself and Chanut : — 

" The age we live in consoles me ; no one is 
spared, and calumny fastens chiefly on the 
worthiest. What vexes me is, that the book 
should bear the name of Chanut. I am con- 
vinced that he never wrote it, and I am sorry 


that such a dark stain should be fixed on the 
memory of so honest a man. For if God had 
abandoned me to such an extent as to permit me 
to be capable of all the baseness imputed to me, 
it is certain that it would be the last misfortune 
for me ; from which His mercy has preserved me. 
That does not prevent any man capable of pub- 
lishing such things from being unworthy to live ; 
and he must be the most utterly degraded of 
men. I will on this head give the definitive 
judgment which an Italian author once gave a 
propos of slanders on the Pope — * II Papa e Papa, 
e tu sei furfante.' " * 

Meanwhile her health continued good, with 
occasional relapses ; Bourdelot still continued to 
be her medical adviser, in so far as she took 
medical advice. He seems to have recommended 
her to eat less on one occasion in 1679 — to which 
she replies : — 

" You are vexed because your verses are not 
sufficiently appreciated, and by way of penance 
you try to dock people's ordinary meals. You 
must be a perfect Jansenist, to assign such harsh 
penance ; for it cannot be as a doctor, but as a 
confessor, that you are determined to make people 
die of hunger. The advice you give me would 
be good if you were my steward, and it was for 
economy, at a time when money is scarce ; yet 
* " The Pope is Pope, and you are a scoundrel." 


it would be laughed at, and all the misfortunes 
of Sweden do not drive me to such despair as to 
be anxious to die by diet. If you knew how 
much I eat, most assuredly you would say there 
was nothing to retrench ; a man may be as tem- 
perate as he likes — he can't eat less than I do. 
You tell me I have done well to give up wine, 
which I have not given up, for I never drank it, 
as you know. As to my emhonjQoint, it does not 
afflict me. I have only got fat enough to cover 
my bones ; the way I live, I am not afraid of 
getting any fatter. I eat little and sleep less, 
since I'm rarely more than ^Ye hours in bed when 
I'm well. You know I used to sleep much less, 
but in my complete leisure, mistress of all my 
time, I sleep a little longer, in order to cool my 
constitutional fire and flame. I am surprised at 
what you tell me, that MM. Arnauld and Nicole 
have gone to Kome. They are people of great 
worth for Jansenists, but were they devils one 
must give them their due. There are no Janse- 
nists that I know of at Eome ; if there are any 
at all they are only fools, and people of no ac- 
count. As for me, I am blindly pledged to the 
sentiments of the Church of Eome, and believe 
without reservation all that its chief commands. 
The peace you speak of is still an enigma. I 
see peace made in many places, but executed no- 
where. I believe true peace is only to be found 


ill this world in the hearts of those who despise 

Some of the allusions in this letter, such as 
that to the peace — the Peace of Nimeguen of 
1678 — make it necessary to glance at contem- 
porary events, especially as it was owing to 
them that Christina's reserves were never 
forthcoming. The " flare-up " of Sweden in 
Charles X. had died away, only to leave her 
in still blacker gloom than before, internal 
and external. By the treaty of Oliva in 1660, 
she obtained peace, but the only gainer was 
Brandenburg, whose " Great Elector " was now 
laying the foundations of Prussian history. 
Left to themselves during the minority of 
Charles XI. the oligarchy at last got their 
chance. The State was administered entirely 
in their interests, the Crown lands recklessly 
squandered, the young King brought up as 
much as possible in ignorance, to obviate the 
possibility of creating another Christina. The 
dominant party, led by Brahe, Wrangel, and 
Magnus de la Gardie, turned their backs upon 
peace, advocated by the opposing faction as the 
only way of salvation for Sweden ; which might 
be true enough, but was not the aim of their 
opponents, who desired quite other things, 
chiefly money. They unwillingly took part in 
the Triple Alliance of 1668 between England, 


Holland, and Sweden against France. Both 
with England and Sweden, however, the gold 
of Louis XIV. was a more potent influence than 
honour ; the latter country agreed, in considera- 
tion of huge bribes, to despatch an army against 
Brandenburg under Wrangel. The indecision 
of the Swedish general, who kept receiving 
contradictory orders from home, proved fatal 
to him against the prompt action of the Elector, 
who speedily and completely defeated him at 
Fehrbellin and expelled the Swedes by a series 
of victories from Pomerania. The Danes seized 
the moment to attempt to recover their losses 
by the Treaty of Copenhagen. But in spite lof 
his neglected education, Charles XL proved 
his abilities by the victories of Lund and 
Landskrona, though they were balanced by the 
success of the Danes at sea. The Peace of 
Nimeguen in 1678, the Treaty of St. Germain-en- 
Laye of the following year, and that of Lund, 
put an end to hostilities ; but " as Louis XIV. 
proved a gentleman to his Swedes," the Elector 
had to disgorge all his winnings in Pomerania. 
The knell of the oligarchy had sounded ; 
Charles XL with the nation at his back took a 
terrible vengeance upon them. The Crown lands 
alienated since the time of Gustavus Adolphus 
were resumed at a blow, and enormous fines 
were imposed on many nobles, or where they 


were dead, on their heirs, of whom many were 
reduced to beggary. The power of the Senate 
was annihilated, and that body reduced to a 
complete dependence upon the King. The war 
policy of Charles X. was reversed ; Charles XI. 
sedulously maintained peace during his reign, 
and Sweden in consequence took a less im- 
portant and more natural position in European 

Now at length Christina began to receive her 
own revenues with more regularity, which 
enabled her to restore to her Court at Kome 
something of its original brilliancy. But her 
relations with the Pope had also changed with 
the times. Clement IX. had long been dead, 
nor did his successor, Clement X., live long ; 
in 1676 Cardinal Odescalchi became Pope as 
Innocent XI. He immediately set himself to 
reform the existing evil state of things ; nepotism, 
in full swing under his predecessors, was stopped ; 
the finances, which showed an increasing deficit, 
scrutinized with care, and abuses of all kinds 
abolished. But a more striking opposition to 
his predecessor's policy was shown in the strong 
attitude he took up towards Louis XIV., to 
whose bullying and imperious mode of treating 
ecclesiastical questions he became a strenuous 
antagonist. In these disputes between France 
and the Pope Christina was mixed up. 


The quarrel arose out of the claim of 
Louis XIV. to the right of regale, the right, that 
is to say, of enjoying the revenues of vacant 
bishoprics and appointing to all their dependent 
benefices. This he wished to extend to four 
districts, Guienne, Languedoc, Provence, and 
Dauphin^, in which it had never obtained before. 
Two Jansenist bishops, of Pamier and Alais, pro- 
tested and appealed to the Pope, who forbade 
Louis to proceed. The consequence was that 
Louis, who hated the Jansenists, and was sup- 
ported by the Jesuits, got a convocation assembled 
in 1682, which pronounced the celebrated four 
decrees, that the temporal power is independent 
of the spiritual, that a general council is superior 
to the Pope, that the Papal authority cannot 
alter the Galilean usages, and that even in 
questions of faith the decision of the Pope is 
not final without the sanction of the Church. 
In spite of this fatal blow Innocent remained 
inflexible, and refused to concede spiritual^ 
ordination to the nominees of Louis ; this posi- 
tion he retained during his life. Nor was the 
dispute settled till 1693, under Innocent XIL, 
when Louis withdrew his decrees. 

With this was closely connected the affair of 
Molinos, a Spanish priest, who preached a 
doctrine of mystical quietism. Innocent was 
not himself inclined to deal hardlv with him. 


" If he is in error," he said, " nevertheless he is a 
worthy man ; " and some of the Cardinals, Azzolini 
for instance, were favourable to him. But the 
Jesuits abhorred him, as well for his doctrine 
as his influence, and went so far as to accuse the 
Pope of leaning to his heretical opinions ; by 
the influence of the French Cardinals he was 
condemned by the Inquisition to recant, and be 
imprisoned for life. Christina, who was ever as 
ready as Yoltaire himself to defend the persecuted 
and oppressed, took up his cause, and supplied 
his wants in prison, for which her enemies 
accused her of quietism ; and they were, strangely 
enough, though quite accidentally, for once nearer 
the mark than ever they were before or after, 
for Christina's own views, as has been already 
pointed out, show a distinct vein of mysticism, 
though this was by no means her reason for be- 
friending Molinos. Burnet says, that her tact 
and charity established harmony among the 
members of the Sacred College. Molinos died 
in prison at the age of seventy. 

Christina saved two other Spanish gentlemen 
from the Inquisition ; but the finest proof of her 
noble intolerance of persecution is to be found in 
a letter she wrote to the Chevalier de Terlon, on 
February 3, 1686, telling him her views upon 
the Kevocation of the Edict of Nantes, by which 
in 1685 Louis aimed at crushing the Huguenots, 


and only succeeded in inflicting a lasting injury 
on France. 

" Since you wish to know my sentiments upon 
tlie pretended extirpation of heresy in France, I 
am delighted to tell them to you on a subject of 
such importance. As I profess to fear and 
flatter no one, I will frankly own to you that I 
am not much persuaded of the success of this 
great design, and I cannot rejoice over it, as a 
thing advantageous to our holy religion ; on the 
contrary, I foresee many prejudices that will 
arise everywhere from so novel a proceeding. 
In good faith, are you well assured of the 
sincerity of these converts ? I hope they may 
obey God and their king sincerely, but I fear 
their obstinacy ; and I would not have at my 
door all the sacrilege which will be committed 
by these Catholics forced in by missionaries 
who treat the sacred mysteries too cavalierly. 
Military men are strange apostles. I think they 
are better suited to kill, ravish, and rob than 
persuade ; and, in fact, accounts we cannot doubt 
tell us that they are performing their mission 
quite in character. I pity the people abandoned 
to their discretion. I bewail so many ruined 
families, so many honest folk reduced to beggary, 
and cannot look at what goes on in France 
without compassion. I am sorry for these un- 
fortunates having been born in error, but they 



seem to me more to be pitied than hated ; and 
as I would not for the empire of the world share 
in their error, so would I not be the cause of their 
distress. I consider France to-day as a sick man, 
whose arms and legs are cut off to cure him of a 
disease that a little patience and gentleness 
would have cured completely ; but I fear lest 
this disease may grow more acute, and become 
finally incurable ; lest this fire hidden under the 
ashes may not blaze forth some day still fiercer 
than ever, and heresy become all the more 
dangerous that it is masked. Nothing is more 
praiseworthy than the design of converting 
infidels and heretics, but this method of doing it 
is quite new ; and since our Saviour did not 
adopt this way of converting the world, it cannot 
be the best. I wonder at, and do not understand, 
this zeal and these politics ; they are above me, 
and I am glad of it. Do you think this is a 
moment to convert heretics, to make them good 
Catholics ; an age when attempts so noticeable 
are made in France against the respect and 
submission due to the Roman Church, which is 
the sole and unshakable foundation of our 
religion, since it was to it that the Saviour made 
the magnificent promise, that the gates of hell 
shall not prevail against it. Still, never has the 
scandalous license of the Galilean (Jhurch been 
pushed to greater lengths against it than 


now. The late propositions, signed and published 
by the clergy of France, are such, that they have 
given only too obvious a triumph to heresy, and 
I think its surprise must have been without 
parallel, on seeing itself so soon after persecuted 
by those who have on this fundamental point of 
our religion dogmas and sentiments so much 
akin to their own. There are powerful reasons to 
keep me from rejoicing over this pretended 
extirpation of heresy. The interest of the 
Roman Catholic Church is without doubt as dear 
to me as life, but it is this same interest which 
causes me to see these things with grief, and I 
tell you that I love France well enough to mourn 
over the desolation of so fine a kingdom. I hope 
with all my heart I may be wrong in my con- 
jectures, and that all may end to the great glory 
of God and the King your master ; I am sure 
you will not doubt my sincerity." 

This letter, a rock upon which all the ac- 
cusations of her enemies split, will always 
constitute Christina's next title to immortality, 
after her part in the Peace of Westphalia. 

It was soon published and circulated about. 
The philosophic Bayle so far forgot his usual 
acumen on this occasion as to term it " a remnant 
of her Protestantism." This made Christina 
justly very indignant ; after some explanations 
he wrote her an apology, which she accepted 

z 2 


graciously, and wrote him a reply, in which she 
says that the accusation of Protestantism had 
touched her nearly, as casting a slur upon her 
conversion ; she laid upon him the penance of 
sending her any new and curious books he could 

Were there needed any further proofs of the 
sincerity of her conversion, they could be fur- 
nished in hosts. She refused to print the book 
of one Wasmuth, as she had undertaken to do, 
till he convinced her that there was not the least 
expression in it derogatory to the Church of 
Kome, otherwise she would not contribute to it in 
any way, nor suffer it to bear her name; she 
even spoke of it as an outrage that he should 
ever have imagined that she would. To an 
account in which she is described as a Koman 
Catholic, not of the French school, but of that of 
Peter and Paul, she appended a note : " This is 
divinely put ; ay, so I am, and by the help of 
God will always remain." To Count Wasanau, a 
son of Ladislaus of Poland, whom, being left in 
destitution, she had provided for in her own 
service, she wrote to recommend him to assume 
the cowl, and consecrate himself to the service of 
God, adding, that she envied him that station in 
life and unhampered position which permitted 
him to do so. 

In 1682, being informed of rumours of her own 


death spread about in Stockholm, she writes to 
Olivekranz, her agent in Sweden : — 

"I am not surprised at the news of my death. 
There are so many people who long for it that I 
don't take it ill if they sometimes flatter them- 
selves by anticipation. It will come when God 
pleases, but up to now I have not been sufficiently 
favoured to hope for it. I am in the best health 
and vigour I have ever enjoyed in my life ; 
however, that is no reason why I shouldn't die, 
yet according to appearances plenty of people 
will die before me who don't think it. I am 
waiting for death in great peace of mind, and 
neither fear it nor desire it ; I assure you I shall 
never die of the evil things published about me in 
Sweden ; if I only die of fear or interest I shall be 

She felt more anxious about another report 
that came from Sweden, of injuries sustained by 
Charles XI. in a fall from his horse. Visions of 
the nobles fighting for the crown haunted her, 
which were dispelled by the news of the birth of 
an heir, afterwards Charles XII. The year 
before her death, 1688, when he was five years 
old, he wrote her a letter, which she answered, 
assuring him of his " good aunt's " best wishes for 
his success, and pleasure at hearing of his 

An event of more immediate importance was 


the relief of Vienna by John Sobieski, who 
defeated the Turks with vastly inferior forces, on 
September 12, 1683. Christina's endeavours to 
provide against the danger in this quarter have 
already been related. Since then she had written 
to Sweden on the instigation of the Pope and her 
own fears to try and persuade the government to 
take some decisive action against the Turks, but 
without success. She welcomed the deed of 
Sobieski with great joy. 

" A great and rare spectacle," she writes, " has 
your Majesty given to the world in the memorable 
and victorious day of the relief of Vienna; it 
must be immortal in the annals of the Holy See 
and the whole world. It behoves each of us to 
give his separate thanks. Your deeds show 
you to be worthy not only of the crown of Poland, 
but of the monarchy of the world. I wish I 
could express my sentiments on this occasion; 
yet I may boast of knowing the value of this 
victory over the Emperor of Asia better than 
others, since I realized better than any the 
danger hanging over us in Rome. I owe your 
Majesty the preservation of my independence 
and peace, yet I must confess to feeling un- 
grateful, because I feel envious, which sentiment 
was till now a stranger to me. I do not envy 
you your kingdom, nor your treasures and spoils, 
but your title of Liberator of Christianity." 


The otherwise peaceful current of her life was 
broken in 1686 by disagreements with the Pope, 
arising out of the question of the " Freedom of 
Districts." This was a privilege of the palaces 
of foreign ambassadors ; they and their house- 
hold were exempt from the jurisdiction of the 
Roman law and police, and the immunity was 
extended to a considerable radius all round the 
palace precincts. Persons of the same nationality 
claimed the same privilege as the ambassador's 
suite, and took up their quarters in his vicinity ; 
hence these protected quarters became asylums 
for the offscourings of every nation. Innocent 
XI. determined to apply his new broom to these 
Augean stables, by restricting this freedom to the 
actual palaces of the ambassadors and the members 
of their household. Those of the Emperor, and 
the King of Spain at once agreed to renounce 
their right, conditionally on France doing the 
same. Christina, who enjoyed the same privilege, 
at once wrote to the Pope to follow their example. 
But not to mention the existing feud between 
France and the Pope, such an opportunity was 
meat and drink to the vanity of Louis XIV. 
The French refused to do as the others had 
done ; when, therefore, the new French ambassador 
arrived, the Pope refused to see him till he 
renounced his " district privileges." The " Grand 
Monarque " retorted that he was accustomed to 


set, not to follow an example ; that the signal 
services of France to the Holy See were well 
deserving of some recompense, and that he would 
maintain his right. Thereupon the Pope ex- 
communicated his ambassador. 

Meanwhile a certain brandy vendor, who was 
being hunted by the police, took refuge in a 
church. The sbirri discovered his whereabouts 
by means of a spy, seized him, and were con- 
ducting him to prison, when, being a young and 
powerful man, he broke away, and ran to take 
refuge in Christina's stables; finding these 
closed, he seized hold of the padlock so tightly, 
that they could only tear him away by putting 
a cord round his neck to strangle him. It was 
Easter Day, and Christina was in her chapel. 
Hearing of what was going on, she was very 
indignant at the insult, and sent to command 
the police to release their captive, which they did. 
The Pope, excessively irritated, ordered his 
Treasurer to proceed with the utmost rigour in 
the case, and the latter published a decree, 
condemning Christina's officers concerned in the 
release to death. Thereupon she sent the 
following letter to him : — 

" Dishonouring yourself and your master you 
call doing justice in your tribunal ; I am sorry 
for you now, and shall be still more so when you 
are a Cardinal. In the meantime I give you my 


word that those whom you have condemned to 
death shall, please God, live yet a little longer ; 
and should they chance to die by other than a 
natural death, they shall not die alone." 

Some of the Cardinals were on Christina's side, 
and considered she had been hardly used. After 
some ineffectual negotiations, in which the Pope 
refused to make any concessions, she proceeded 
to brave him openly by going to the Jesuits' 
Church with her whole suite armed, among whom 
were the two condemned officials. " I am," she 
wrote to a friend, " like Csesar of old, in the hands 
of pirates, and like him I menace them, and 
they fear me." Innocent, in fact, now made some 
attempt to appease her ire, sending her baskets 
of fruits. But she distrusted these gifts ; " I am 
not," she said, " to be deceived by these politics." 
To this the Pope replied by two words, " E donna," 
" 'tis a woman ; " and added to his epigram by de- 
priving her of her pension of 12,000 crowns, which 
she still received from the Papal Treasury. On 
this she wrote to Azzolini, who informed her 

"I assure you you have given me the most 
pleasant news in the world. I entreat you to do 
me this justice. God, who knows the depths of 
the heart, knows I do not lie. The 12,000 crowns 
allowed me by the Pope were the sole blot on 
my life, and I took them as a mortification from 


the hand of God in order to lower my pride ; I 
see well He is taking me into His grace by His 
singular favour of removing them." 

The French, pleased to see themselves not 
alone in their opposition to the Pope, supported 
her, and Louis XIV. wrote to mark his approbation. 
The Elector of Brandenburg offered to give her 
an asylum in his dominions, and send her 
assistance, if necessary. At first she asked him 
to send her a guard, but finding the French 
would back her up, she withdrew her request. 
In this situation Innocent waited to see what time 
might do for him, and thus the matter dragged 
on ; in fact, both Christina and himself died 
before any settlement was arranged. Louis' 
subsequent difficulties in other quarters left him 
little leisure to stand on his dignity at Rome ; in 
the end the French ambassador resigned his 

In a letter to Mademoiselle de Scudery, in 
1687, Christina deplores the death of Conde, 
which took place in that year, not without a touch 
of good-humoured satire. " Why did you, who 
write so well, let the Prince die without doing 
something for him in verse or in prose ? " She 
began to feel that her own death could not be 
far off; a feeling that she expresses in her letters 
of this time, especially in one she wrote to the 
Marquis del Monte, whom she had sent to Sweden 


ou her economical affairs, to inform him of the 
death of his father at Rome : — 

" Yesterday your father was in health as perfect 
as a young man of your age could enjoy ; he was 
with me till three o'clock, and went away in 
good case, pleased with himself. This morning 
at eleven he was taken ill, and died at sundown. 
What things we are ! dust, cinders, ashes, nothing 
at all. God grant that we all live and die in His 
grace ; all else is vanity. I am sorry you are 
without a Mass, where you are, but God is every- 
where, and He is enough. We are all to disappear 
like shadows; life is a dream — it vanishes and 
fleets like a momentary flash — we all run to 

At the close of her life public affairs again 
awoke her keen interest, and she showed her 
political sagacity in her criticisms on the principal 
actors. In 1688 Louis XIV. made his sudden 
onslaught upon Germany, and achieved a tem- 
porary success. But Christina saw further : — 

" There is Germany once more in fire and 
flames ; the King of France has made a master- 
stroke. If he had acted thus fifteen or twenty 
years ago he might have done great things. 
My chief curiosity is to see what attitude 
Sweden will take, and the disclosing of the 
Prince of Orange's great designs. Personally, 
I fear for the Kinj2: of Enc]:land. Prav heaven 


I may be mistaken. The Prince of Orange is 
clever and brave ; I don't think he has entered 
the business lightly, without being well assured 
of his coup. The taking of Philipsburg will 
decide all here. I hardly doubt of its capture. 
But we must wait for the event." 

" Every one here trembles," she writes again, 
" except me." The event soon justified her pre- 
vision. Philipsburg was taken, and Louis was 
master of the four Electorates of the Khine. 
But William of Orange seized the opportunity 
afforded him by this diversion, and soon carried 
all before him in England. Christina writes 
again to Olivekranz, Dec 5, 1688 : — 

" I am convinced that the best thing for Sweden 
is to remain neutral. I am very impatient to 
see what it will do. English affairs are in a 
pitiable condition. Bigotry, Jesuits, and monks 
have done for the King ; I predicted his ruin 
long ago. If the Prince of Orange succeeds, as 
I believe he will, England and Holland will be 
a formidable power, conjoined under one head, 
and such a head as that of the Prince, whose 
abilities are extraordinary. I am much mis- 
taken if he does not give France her work to do, 
and show her the mistake she made in perse- 
cuting the Huguenots." 

And again, a week later : — 

" The Prince of Orange is and will be King of 


England all bis life, and no other ; I predicted 
all that would happen to the former King ; the 
Huguenot business has been the fatal stroke for 
this poor King, too much of a bigot and too 
little of a statesman, who has got ruined by 
letting himself be governed by the accursed race 
of Jesuits and monks, who always spoil every- 
thing they touch." 

A fortnight later she expresses herself more 
plainly : " If you had heard my predictions for the 
last three years, of which all Rome is witness, 
you would admit that I am a greater astrologer 
than the English, and that terrestrial astrology 
is worth more than celestial. I will make another 
prediction to you. England and Holland united 
will make all Europe tremble, and give stern 
laws by land and sea. Eemember my words." 

In addition to this expressed contempt for 
astrology, on which her enemies have accused her, 
she says in another place, " I am not of those who 
believe in astrology, but it is my curiosity which 
would know all things ! " " One must know 
enough," she says in her maxims, "of medicine 
and chemistry not to be the dupe of doctors and 
astrologers." How correct her terrestrial astro- 
logy was is matter of history. As soon as 
William was established in England she wrote 
to him to ask his protection for the Roman 
Catholics in England: " They are but a little troop. 


who will not interfere with your designs, and are 
but too happy to be allowed to live; you have 
nothing to fear from their weakness." 

She was a centre of attraction in Rome in the 
last years of her life. " At the Queen of Sweden's," 
says Burnet, " one learns all the news relating to 
Germany or the North. This Princess, who will 
always reign among those who are endowed with 
wit and learning, keeps up in her antechamber 
the finest court of strangers in Rome. The 
civility and great diversity of matters furnished 
by her conversation makes her among all the 
rare sights of Rome the rarest, not to say among 
all the antiquities, which is the term she made 
use of in doing me the honour to speak to me." 
She is described at this time much as we have 
seen her in her youth, only, at sixty-two, she was 
" very small, fat, and round, with a double chin 
and a laughing air, and very obliging manners." 
Her tongue was as sharp as ever. " The Church," 
she told Burnet, " must certainly be governed by 
the Holy Spirit, for since I have been at Rome 
I have seen four Popes, and I swear not one of 
them had common sense." 

In February, 1689, she was suddenly seized 
with an attack of erysipelas and fever ; she 
surprised everybody, including herself, by re- 

" God has snatched me from the arms of death 


against my hope. I had already resigned myself 
to the last journey, which I thought inevitable. 
Still, here I am, full of life, by a miracle of grace, 
nature, and art, which have conspired to give me 
back health and life. The strength of my 
constitution has surmounted a malady capable 
of killing twenty Herculeses. I hope to be quite 
well by Easter, and out of the hands of the 
doctor, who scolds me when he sees me writing." 

But in xlpril she fell ill again for the last 
time. Just before the attack, she wrote her 
last letter : — 

" I can only answer your letter by approving 
all your thoughts ; I am impatient to see you, 
and am waiting for you like the Jews for their 
Messiah. I have a hundred things to say that 
can't be written. I hope you will find me quite 
well when you arrive." 

Feeling, however, that the end was approaching, 
she sent to ask the Pope to forgive her for any 
harsh expressions which her hasty temper might 
have allowed to escape her. Innocent sent her 
absolution. She died at six o'clock in the 
morning, on April 19. 

By her will, dated March 1, 1689, after certain 
legacies to the Pope, the Emperor, the Kings of 
France and Spain, the Elector of Brandenburg, 
and other private persons, she constituted 
Cardinal xA.zzolini sole heir, " for his incomparable 


qualities, his personal merit, and the services of 
so many years ; " directing him to pay her debts, 
if there were any, and provide for twenty 
thousand Masses being said for her soul. Her 
legacy to the Pope was the statue of Christ by 
Bernini, which she admired so much that she 
refused to buy it of the artist, saying that she 
could not afford to pay him what it was worth. 
Bernini left it to her at his death. As Cardinal 
Azzolini died himself two months afterwards, his 
nephew succeeded to his claims ; but he did not 
get much out of them, all her money being 
consumed in satisfying the legacies in her will, 
while her furniture and personal effects were 
eagerly bought up by Cardinals and noble 
families, who, we are told, never paid for them. 
Her fine library and collection of manuscripts 
were bought by the Pope to enrich the Vatican ; 
her unrivalled collection of medals was purchased 
by his nephew, Cardinal Odescalchi. 

Her body was embalmed and lay in state for 
some days, first in her own palace, then at the 
Church of St. Dorothy. She had left special 
directions that there should be no pompous 
celebration of her funeral rites, nor any epitaph, 
other than 

D. 0. M. 
vixiT Christina annos LXIII. 


But herein the Pope disobeyed her. Her 
funeral was celebrated by a magnificent pro- 
cession to St. Peter's, led by the literary and 
scientific men, followed by the long series of 
religious Orders, the Cardinals, and the Pope. 
Her coffin was laid in the Basilica. A monument 
was afterwards erected, which Innocent did not 
live to complete : it was finished, and an epitaph 
added, by Clement XI., in 1702, who also struck a 
medal to commemorate the fact. 

The Swedish Court went into mourning, and 
Charles XI. sent round to the other European 
Powers, asking them to do the same. 

Strange irony of events, that the Basilica of 
St. Peter's should receive the daughter of 
Gustavus Adolphus ! Or shall we not rather 
consider it as emblematic of a new regime which 
should substitute mutual toleration for the old 
uncompromising antagonism, closed at least in 
theory by the Peace of Westphalia. It is because 
Christina showed herself fully conscious of this 
great change, and was its ardent pioneer, not 
only by the prominent part she took in shutting 
the door on the past epoch by bringing about the 
Peace of 1648, but also by her openly expressed 
and heartfelt abomination of persecution, that 
she deserves a niche in the temple of humanity. 
And this is, too, the secret of her enemies' abuse, 

2 A 


that she stood above and outside of the religious 
and political animosities of her age, disregarding 
and even contemning the smaller formal con- 
ventionalities. None of her great and brilliant 
qualities, her political genius, her eagerness for 
the j)rogress of all branches of learning and 
science, her ready generosity, her humane sym- 
pathy with all oppressed minorities, could in their 
eyes atone for this. 

By her abdication she deprived herself of the 
true field for exercising her abilities, and of the 
power of realizing her great conceptions. Hence, 
from the utilitarian point of view, she has been 
condemned for having done so little. She 
foresaw this herself. " Those who examine this 
action according to the maxims commonly 
established among men will blame it, without 
doubt." A critic of a different school, when he 
observes her capacities, and all she did during her 
short reign, will regret it indeed, but will also 
give her all the credit which is her due, for 
acting up to her religious convictious. 

( 355 ) 


Although Christina is not, strictly speaking, 
to be classed among authors, she has left some 
more or less fragmentary writings which have 
an intrinsic interest apart from their biographical 
value. These are, the History, or Memoirs of 
her own life; Reflections on Alexander the 
Great, and Julius Caesar ; and some detached 
xiphorisms, or ]\[axims, of which there are two 
different collections (many of the thoughts being 
the same in both), arranged in centuries, or 
groups of a hundred. 

Even if we had nothing else from her pen, 
her letters, many of them masterpieces in that 
style of writing, combining feminine ease and 
grace with a masculine vigour and satirical 
point that recalls those of Byron, would give 
ample proof of her literary power. They Avon 
the admiration of Leibnitz, and show that had 
she chosen to apply herself to a complete work, 
she might have become a French classic, for 
French was the language she preferred, though 
she wrote easily in many others. Hence it is all 
the more to be regretted that she never finished 
her Memoirs, the most important of the writings 
named. This most curious piece of self-analysis 

2 A 2 


has already been characterised, and frequently 
quoted. There is nothing exactly like it in litera- 
ture. Judging from what there is of it, it is 
not too much to say that, if complete, it would 
have taken its place among the half-dozen world- 
famous autobiographies. The essentials in this 
genre — a peculiar genius, a varied experience of 
life, and an admirable style — are here, as rarely 
elsewhere, conjoined. It is a sort of personal 
confession to the Deity, to whom it is addressed : 
" I consecrate to Thee, Lord, in this work, such 
as it is, my past life ; " and displays throughout 
a strong mystical vein. What has, in fact, been 
said of a very different person applies also to 
Christina, that no one will appreciate or under- 
stand her who has not a certain sympathy with 
mysticism.* After the dedication, she gives a 
rapid sketch of Swedish history down to her 
own time, and then dwells at length on her 
education and character, speaking of herself very 

* This will be all the plainer if we compare, e.g., the un- 
sympathetic external way in which Voltaire criticises Madame 
de Gnyon, and Parkman's very different method of dealing 
with Marie de I'lncarnation, a character in many points akin 
to that of Christina : to whom also his remark, that such 
cases are a problem, not only for the theologian and philo- 
sopher, but also for the physiologist, applies. Her ardent 
and impetuous nature, finding no legitimate object on which 
to expand, threw back upon the bottomless abyss of mystical 
yearning ; though her strong intellect preserved her from the 
extravaiiance usual in such cases. 


frankly both in good and bad. It breaks off 
suddenly at the point where she is about to be 
removed from her mother. Internal evidence 
seems to shows it was, at least partly, written 
in 1681. 

The Beflections on Alexander are of capital 
import for her own character ; a better idea of 
what she was, or, perhaps, what she would have 
been, is to be gained from this essay than from 
any other source. In describing the nature of 
her hero she lays bare her own : " We acknowledge 
that the imitation of this incomparable model 
is difficult and almost impossible ; but no matter, 
it is good to propose to oneself so perfect an 
ideal, and the despair of not succeeding should 
not hinder any one from making the lofty 
attempt." Had she been a man, we might have 
been more struck with the resemblance of the 
copy to the original : there is a heroic magnani- 
mity discernible in some of the House of Vasa, 
though in Christina it was disguised by her sex 
more than in others. " He had a fiery spirit 
which rendered him indefatigable to the day of 
his death ; his liberality exceeded the conceptions 
and wishes of his friends and enemies ; ... he 
distributed all his money and his patrimony to 
his friends before passing the Hellespont, with a 
greatness of soul of which he alone was ca-j)able, 
reserving only the pleasure of having given all, a 


thousand times more ivortliy of him than, &c. (The 
italics are ours.) She describes his genius, his 
skill at all physical exercises, his personal charm, 
his continence, and the divine fire of his heroic 
soul, which made smaller minds tax him with 
madness.^^ " But Alexander was a man, and on 
this account we ought to pardon his faults for his 
great virtues. Nature has placed spots on the 
sun, which do not prevent it from being the 
most glorious luminary in the world." 

Just so Disraeli, in describing Bolingbroke, 
gives us his own aspirations as to what he would 
himself wish to be ; the fervour of the portrait 
drawn sj)rings out of the feeling of kindred with 
the subject. 

The little sketch on Csesar is of less moment, 
and wants the sympathetic bond which gives that 
on Alexander its interest. 

The Aphorisms, or Maxims, are not all of 
equal merit, though some of them have an 
epigrammatic and caustic incisiveness not un- 
worthy of Chamfort himself. A selection of 
some of the best, with others that illustrate 
Christina's peculiar opinions, is subjoined. 

Did men understand the duties of princes, they 
would be less anxious to become one. 
One is, in proportion as one can love. 
Fools are more to be feared than knaves. 


Modesty is a sort of sincerity. 

Men are unknown to themselves, as well as to 
others, till occasions arise to test them. 

There is a sort of pleasure in suffering from 
ingratitude known only to great minds. 

Extraordinary merit is a crime never forgiven. 

People are wrong in blaming Caesar for having 
made himself master of Rome, if it was the most 
important service he could have rendered it. 

Great men and fools are sometimes the same 
thing, only in a different way. 

Vainly do men oppose changes in states and 
republics ; there is a fatal point, which once 
reached draws all along. 

The oracle which bade men refer to the dead, 
was doubtless referring to books. 

There is a star which unites souls of the first 
order, though ages and distances divide them. 

One rises above all, when one no longer esteems 
or fears anything. 

However feebie a prince is, he is never so much 
ruled as is believed. 

At the moment Justice is punishing some 
rascals, others steal the purses of the spectators. 

Small princes can do little good and much 

A man's merit is often the greatest obstacle to 
his fortunes. 

To undeceive men is to offend them. 


The Salic law, which excluded women from the 
throne, was a good law. 

More courage is required for marriage than for 

All expenditure on arms or troops is economy. 

We must submit ourselves blindly to the 
Catholic Church, the only oracle of God. 

When one is a Catholic, one has the consolation 
of believing all that so many great minds have 
believed, who have lived for sixteen centuries ; 
a religion authorised by so many millions of 
martyrs; which has peopled the deserts with 
those who by a secret martyrdom have sacrificed 
themselves to God ; a religion fertile in admirable 
virgins, who have trampled upon their sex and 
their age, to consecrate themselves to God. 

How can one be a Christian without being a 
Catholic ? 

In vain do the heretics usurp the fine title of 
Catholic, which does not belong to them. 

Interest is a god, unknown to many who 
sacrifice to him. 

We must not be the dupes of confessors and 

Nothing is so disgusting as external devotion. 
To love God and one's neis-hbours is the true 
devotion ; all the rest is but grimaces. 

Bigots hate all who are not their dupes ; but 
they never want money or wives. 


The famous "know thyself," given out as the 
source of human wisdom, is only that of its 

Philosophy neither changes men nor corrects 

He who loses his temper with the world has 
learned all he knows to no purpose. 

Genius is always a paradox to those who are 
without it. 


A. — Peace of Westphalia. 

Readers may find it convenient to have some 
further details as to the territorial changes made 
at the Peace. France acquired Alsace, the 
Sundgau, and Brisach ; and the definitive pos- 
session of the Bishoprics of Metz, Toul, and 
Verdun. Brandenburgh received the Bishoprics 
of Camin, Halberstadt, and Minden, with the 
prospect of Magdeburg. The Bishoprics of 
Schwerin and Ratzeburg were given to Meck- 
lenburg - Schwerin. Saxony retained Lusatia, 
and Bavaria received the Electorate with the 
Upper Palatinate ; the Lower Palatinate went 
back to Charles Lewis, son of the Elector, and an 
eighth Electorate was created for him. Switzer- 
land was made independent of the Empire. 
Other changes were made of minor importance. 

The charge usually brought against the Peace, 
that it destroyed the unity of Germany, is based 
on an insufficient grasp of the position. For its 


long disunion, Germany has rather to thank its 
connection with the Empire, its religious and 
political divisions, and especially the war. Unity 
is good, but to be united a nation must first 
exist. Existence, rapidly becoming impossible 
for Germany, was ensured by the Peace ; unity 
was achieved only at a later day. 

B. — CoNTAKmi Fleming. 

The curious identity of the idea of Disraeli's 
novel, and Christina's own history, especially as 
conceived by Voltaire, whose influence on Disraeli 
was very strong, is perhaps more than a co- 
incidence ; many of the very names we meet 
with in the history are repeated in the fiction. 

C. — SiGISMUND III., p. 7. 

Had Sigismund had but the rudiments of 
policy he might not only have retained Sweden, 
but added Russia to Poland and Lithuania united 
at Lublin. What an opportunity, and how 
clumsily improved ! A striking instance of the 
influence individual character may have on the 
history of the world. 

D. — Whitelocke's Embassy. 

For a fuller consideration of this than can be 
given here, see Eanke, * History of England,' iii. 


E. — On the Calendak. 

The dates have in general been left in the 
old style, ten days behind our own ; but in a 
few instances of special importance, as e.g. that 
of the Peace of Westphalia, they have been 
reduced to the modern method of reckoning, 


Abo, College founded at, r47 ; made a University by 

Christina, 170 
Abdication of Christina, reasons for, 109, 225 ; account of, 

238 ; judgments upon, 243 ; of John Casimir, 320 
Academy, the Arcadian, 323 ; Academy, the French, when 

founded, 324 ; Christina and the, 297 
Adolphus, Gustavus. See Gustavus. 
Adolphus, Duke, 60, 202, 303; on Christina's dislike of 

marriage, 107 ; his character, 306 
Alexander the Great, Keflections on, 357 
Alexander YIL, Pope, elected, 255; De Ketz on him, 255, 

301; his dispute with Christina, 301 ; with Louis XIY., 

313 ; death, 316 
Alexandra, Christina assumes name of, 260 
Alliance, Triple, 332 
Amalia Elizabeth of Hesse, 46 
Amaranta, Order of, 193 
Amazon, Christina as an, 259, 260 
America, colony established in, 132 
Anatomy, school of, established, 150 
Anne of Austria, 275, sqq. 
Aphorisms of Christina, 358, sqq. 
Arcadian Academy, 323 

366 INDEX. 

Arckenliok, 252 ; and see Preface 

Aristocratic tendency in Europe, 125 

Astrologers, predictions of, concerning Christina, 10 

Astrology, terrestrial, Christina on, 349 

Astronomy, fondness of Christina for, 328 

Atlantica, the, of Glaus Kudbeck, 167 

Austria, Anne of, 275 ; Don John of, 100 

Avaux, d', French plenipotentiary, 67, 70 

Azzolini, Cardinal, his character, 300 ; admiration of 

Christina for, 300, 328; letter of Christina to, 345; 

constituted her heir, 351 


Baat, Senator, 298, 310 

Balandine, 195 

Balzac, 165 

Baner, Axel, 16 

Baner, John, 35, 36 ; death of, 45, 46, 47 

Bavaria, difficulties caused by, 68 ; reduced, 76 ; gains of, 

Bayle, on Salmasius, 157 ; on scandals about Christina, 253 ; 
on her Protestantism, 339 

Benserade, letter of Christina to, 163 

Bernini, his statue of truth, 261, 352 

Bcecler, 159, 160 

Bochart, 162, 177, 178, 243 

Boors, Marshal of the, 236 

Borelli, 328 

Borri, an alchemist, 311 

Bourdelot, introduces Gassendi, 156; Naudc-eus on, 169; 
character and charges against him examined, 174, sqq. ; 
attempts of Count Magnus against, 182, 200; plots 
against, ih.; leaves Sweden, 185; subsequent career and 
death of, 186 ; trUe reason for abuse of him, ib. ; charges 
against, 190; letters of Christina to, 319, 329, 330 

INDEX. 367 

Biahe, Count, 233, 239, 304, 332 

Brake, Ebba, 64 

Brandenburgh, John Sigismund of, 9 

Brandenburgh, Frederick William of, proposals as bis 

marriage with Christina, 98, 99 ; energy of, 332, 333 
Brandenburgh, gains of, at the peace. See Appendix. 
Brdgy, Countess de, letter of Christina to, 164 
Bremen, difficirlties with, 196 
Brennkirk, battle of, 3 
Brisach, 43, 46 
Bromsebro, peace of, 53 

Brussels, Christina abjures Lutheranism in, 251 
Burnet, Bishop, 320, 336, 350 


Calmar, Treaty of, 2 

Calvinism, recognized at the Peace, 77 ; abhorred by the 

Swedes, 149 
Cartesianism in Sweden, 155 
Cassati, Paolo, 228, 229, 230 
Cassini, comet discovered by, 328 
Catharine Jagellonica, 6 
Catharine, Princess, 10, 15, 38 ; death of, 39 
Cathedrals of Europe, Christina on, 259 
Catholicism in Sweden, designs of John III. to restore, 6 ; 

condition of, 148 
CathoHcism, Christina's peculiar, 340 
Catholic Church, Christina on, 223, 360 
Catholics, in Denmark and Holland, attempts of Christina to 

benefit, 312; her letter to William III. concerning the 

English, 349 
Cerisante, 64 
Chanut, Pierre, his character, 87 ; his description of 

Christina, 88 ; his influence over her, 224 ; penetrates her 

designs, 141 ; letter of Christina to, 216 ; his answer, 219 ; 

368 INDEX. 

his memoirs, 179, 329, and preface ; his misunderstanding 
with Christina, 250 ; on Swedish Court, 60 ; on Christina, 
105 ; on Oxenstiern, 126 ; introduces Descartes to 
Christina, 152; quoted, 16, 65, 80, a,ud passim 

Charles I. (of England), 34, 126 

Charles II. (of England), his remark on Vossius, 158 ; and 
Ulfeld, 189; apphes to Sweden, 195; meets Christina at 
Frankfort, 255 

Charles IX., his career and character, 7, sqq. ; his policy to 
nobles, 127 

Charles X. (Charles Gustavus), 60, 76 ; and Christina, 100 ; 
at Jaukowitz, 101 ; letter of Christina to, ih. ; ambiguous 
position of, 103 ; plans of Christina for, 110 ; declared her 
successor, 115 ; difficult position of, 140 ; suspicions as to, 
m Messenius conspiracy, 211 ; accession of, 241 ; death 
of, 303 

Charles XL, 57; Sweden during his minority, 332; wins 
victories of Lund and Landskroma, 333 ; annihilates the 
oligarchy, ih ; injury to, 341 

Charles XII., character of, 1 ; born, 341 

Charles Ferdinand, 84 

Charles Lewis, an eighth electorate created for him, 83, and 

Chevreau, anecdote reported by, 257 

Chigi, Cardinal. See Alexander VII. 

Christian 11. of Denmark, 2, 3 

Christian IV., 45, 49, 50 

Christina, keynote in her character, 9 ; on her mother, ib. 
birth of, 10; early years, 11, sqq.-, her governors, 16 
prediction concerning, 16 ; letter to her father, 18 
proclaimed Queen-elect, 23 ; on Oxenstiern, 28 ; marriage 
proposals concerning, 32 ; and her mother, 38 ; education 
of, 39; account of, by herself, 42; her studies, «&., 43; on 
the situation in Germany, 42 ; and the Chancellor, 44 • 
introduced to Senate, ih; her Greek, when acquired, 44, 
note ; on Baner, 45 ; hints of, against Oxenstiern, 45 ; 
policy of, with Denmark, 51, sqq. ; creates Oxenstiern a 

INDEX. 369 

Count, 54 ; accession of, ib. ; ratifies acts of Regency, 55 ; 
criticism of, 56; attitude in Peace negotiations, 58, sqq. ; 
sends De la Gardie to France, 62 ; Parisian gossip about, 
Qo ; and Eric Oxenstiem, 66 ; and Salvius, 66 ; letters to 
him, 69, sqq.\ on Mazarin, 72; quarrel with. Oxenstiem, 
74 ; her criticism on him, 75 ; the Peace due to her, 82 ; 
ignored by Pope's Bull, 83 ; and the Polish election, 84, 85 ; 
her renown, 86 ; Chanut's portrait of her, 88 ; Manner- 
schied's, 95 ; fond of the Fathers, 97 ; her criticism on 
herself, ib, ; her suitors, ib. ; Charles Gustavus and, 100 ; 
her dislike of marriage, 105; her policy as to Charles, 
110 ; declares him her successor, 115 ; coronation of, 118 ; 
on Oxenstiem, 126 ; not to blame for the social distress, 
131, 139 (and see preface) ; her beneficial legislation, 132 ; 
her policy in 1650, 133, sqq. ; difficulty of her position, 
135 ; on the epithet " ill-born," 137 ; her profuse ex- 
penditure, 138 ; her design of abdicating, 140, 141 ; post- 
pones it, 143 ; her diligence, ib. ; her intimacy with 
foreign countries, ib. ; admires Conde, 144 ; on the 
Fronde, ib. ; on swearing, 151 ; relations with literary and 
scientific men, 152, sqq. ; with Descartes, 152 ; his 
influence on her conversion, 156, 224 ; Gassendi, 156 ; 
Salmasius, ib. ; other eminent men, 158, sqq., 165, sqq. ; 
her liberality, 160, 161, 165; Huet on, 162; letter to 
Benserade, 163 ; to the Countess de Bregy, 164 ; on 
ancients and moderns, 165 ; her collections, 168 ; Naud^eus 
on, 169 ; her inward dissatisfaction, 172 ; ill-health, 174 ; 
relations with Bourdelot, 175, 176 ; accused of atheism, 
181; charges against her, 186, 191; Pimentelli and, 187 ; 
Whitelocke on, 191 ; policy of, 193, sqq. ; De la Gardie 
and, 200 ; her letter to him, 205 ; dangers incurred by, 
209; Whitelocke and, 214; letter to Chanut, 215; 
religious views examined, 219; takes steps to abdicate, 
227 ; letter to Frederick of Hesse, 231 ; announces her 
intention, 234 ; abdication of, 238, sqq. ; leaves Sweden, 
244 ; travels of, 246, sqq. ; abjures Lutheranism at 
Brussels, 251 ; public profession of, at Innsbruck, 256 ; 

2 B 

370 INDEX. 

. progress tbroiigh Italy, 258 ; enters Rome, 260; disputes 
with Spaniards, 264; pecuniary difficulties of, 269, 298, 
323, etc. ; goes to France, 269 ; account of, by Mdlle. de 
Montpensier, 270, and Mme. de Motteville, 273, sqq.^ and 
the Duke of Guise, 280 ; returns to Italy, 281 ; second 
visit to France, 282 ; her execution of Monaldeschi 
examioed, 282, s^g-. ; returns to Eome, 297 ; life in Rome, 
' 300 ; quarrels with the Pope, 301 ; goes to Sweden, 304 ; 
her designs misrepresented, 305; reception of, by the 
Swedes, 308, sqq. ; returns to Hamburg, 311, and Rome, 
312 ; second journey to Sweden, 314 ; treatment of, by the 
Swedes, 314, 315 ; returns to Rome, 320 ; her candidature 
for the crown of Poland, ib. ; life in Rome, 323, sqq. ; her 
dislike of flattery, 312, sqq. ; her contempt for calumny, 
329 ; letter on the Revocation of Edict of Nantes, 327 ; 
quarrel with the Pope, 343; on contemporary politics, 
347 ; death of, 351 ; her will, ib ; funeral, 353 ; cnticism 
of her writings, 355, sqq.\ her Memoirs quoted, see 
Memoirs ; unfairness of her biographers, see Preface. 
Christina, Fort, on the Delaware, 147 
Clement IX., Pope, election of, 316; Rome under, 320; 

supports Christina's canvas for Polish crown, 321 
Clement X., Pope, 334 

Clergy, Swedish, vices of, 4 ; refuse to be taxed, 34 ; denounce 
the Peace of Westphalia, 79 ; request Christina to marry, 
103 ; in 1650, 132, sqq. ; their power, 149 ; and ignorance, 
161; abhor Bourdelot, 180, 182; their anger with 
Christina, 243, 254, 263, 308 
Colonna, Cardinail, falls in love with Christina, 262 
Comenius, 158 

Commercial position of Sweden, 146 
Compiegne, Richelieu and Oxenstiern at, 35 
Conciliador, the, of Manasseh Ben Israel, 166, 182 
Conde, 58 ; admired by Christina, 144 ; on her abdication, 
242 ; misunderstanding of, with her, 249 ; a candidate for 
the Polish crown, 320 ; remark of, to De Retz, 329 ; death 
of, 346 

INDEX. 371 

Conring, 83, 159, 151 

Contarini Fleming, observation on. See Appendix. 

Conversion of Christina, analysed, 219, sqq.\ effect of, 243 ; 

Christina on her own motives, 329 
Cooper, the artist, 166 
Copenhagen, Treaty of, 333 
Court, De, letter of Christina to, 313 
Crequi, Due de, and the Pope, 312 
Cre^cembeni, 325 

Cromwell, Oliver, 126, 166, 191, 195, 196, 197, 296 
Crown lands, 55, 56 ; question of, examined, 124, sqq. 
Cueva, Don Antonio de, 267 


Davison, letter of Christina to, 298 

Delaware, Swedish trade on the, 146 

Demetrius, the False, 6 

Denmark, Queen Margaret of, 2 

Denmark, causes of war with, 48, sqq. ; treaty of Bromsebro 

with, 53 ; threatening aspect of, 197 ; victories of, 

Descartes, 152, sqq. ; influence on Christina, 224 
Desmarets, 165 

District franchise, disputes about, 343 
Doctors, Monnichof on Swedish, 150; enemies to Bourdelot, 

Domestic life in Sweden, 451 
Dorpat, College at, 145, 170 
Dutch, eager for war with Denmark, 49 ; policy, of Christina 

towards, 197 


Education in Sweden, 147, sqq. 

Elizabeth of Bohemia, Princess, 154 visits Christina at 
Antwerp, 249 

2 B 2 

372 INDEX. 

Electorate, an eighth, created, 83, and Appendix 
England, commercial treaty with, 195 ; alluded to, 333 
Eric XIV., his reign and character, 5 


Fathers of the Church, fondness of Christina for the, 97 

Fehrbellin, 333 

Ferrario, Octavio, 160 

Festivities at the Court, charges of Christina's enemies 

respecting, 186, 193, 194 
Feuquieres, offers of, to Oxenstiern, 32 
Filicaja, liberality of Christina to, 326 
Finland, Brah^ in, 147, 149 ; first Bible in, 170, note 
Flanders campaign, Christina on the, 319 
Flattery, dislike of Christina for, 312, sq(i. 
Fleming, Admiral, 210, 212 
Flemming, Klas, 50, 147 
Fontainebleau, Christina at, 282 
Form of Government, the, 24 
Forsius, 170 
France, attitude of Christina to, 61 ; ministers of, at the 

congress, 67 ; supports John Casimir for Poland, 84 ; visits 

of Christina to, 269, 282 ; gains of, at the Peace, see 

Frederick III., the Emperor, his objection to surrender 

Alsace, 68 ; policy of Christina to, 196 
Frederick III., of Denmark, 37, 188 
Frederick of Hesse, Prince, letter of Christina to, 231 
Freinsheim, 154, 161 
French jealousy and charges of, against Christina, 179, 190, 

200, 200, 264. See also Preface 
Froude, the, 59, 144 

INDEX. 373 


Gallas, 50 

Gardie, Count Jacob de la, 28, 60, 64, 119 

Gardie, Count Magnus Gabriel de la, 62 ; character of, 64 ; 
sent to France, ib.; scandal concerning, 105; gifts of 
Christina to, 138 ; attempts to defame Bourdelot, 182 ; 
fall of, 199, sqq. ; becomes a bitter enemy of Christina, 
208; later life of, 332 

Gassendi, 156 

Germany, state of war in, after Lutzfen, 33 ; after Nordlingen 
34 ; after Wittstock, 46 ; condition of, owing to war, 80. 
See Appendix 

Geer, De, 50, 230 

Godeau, 230 

Godunoff, Boris, 6 

Gregory Nazianzen, partiality of Christina for, 97, Tiote 

Gronsfeld, on the state of Germany, 81 

Grotius, Hugo, 62, sqq. ; his epigram on Richelieu, 63, note ; 
liberality of Christina to, 161 

Gualdo, Count Galeazzo, 185, 312 ; his life of Christina, 
see Preface. 

Guidi, generosity of Christina to, 326 

Guise, Due de, his account of Christina, 280 

Gustavus Adolphus, character of, 8 ; marriage of, 9 ; conduct 
of, at birth of Christina, 11 ; his affection for Christina, ih. ; 
departure of, 13, sqq. ; letter of, to Oxenstiern, 19 ; death 
of, 20 ; on Baner, 35 ; Maria Eleanora and, 37 ; his opinion 
of Grotius, 62 ; his master in war, 64 ; and Ebba Brahe, 
64 ; his designs on Brandenburgh, 98 ; his policy towards 
nobles, 127 ; his efforts for Sweden, 145, 147 

Gustavus Ericson Vasa, 6 

Gustavus Vasa, 2, sqq. 

Gyldener, Anne, 302 

Gyldenheim, Baron, 27 

374 INDEX. 


Hacki, Father, 321 

Hamburg, disturbances at, 316 

Heilbronn, League of, 32, 35 

Heinsius, Nicolas, 157, 167, 180 

Henrietta, Queen, visits Christina, 273 

Hereditary Settlement, the, 5 

Hesse, 34 

Holsteinius, 255, 256 ; letter of Christina to, 326 

Horn, Gustav, 17 

Horn, General, 34, 50, 60 

Huet, Bishop, 162; on Christina's wit, 166; on her library, 

Hungary, King of, 100 


Idea Boni Ordinis, the, 263 

Imperial Court, relations of Christina with, 196 

Innocent X., Pope, his Bull, 83 ; his death, 255 

Innocent XI., Pope, election of, 334 ; character of his reign, 

ib. ; disputes with Louis XIV., 335 ; with Christina, 343 j 

his opinion of Molinos, 336 
Innocent XIL, Pope, 335 

Inquisition, Christina saves two Spaniards from, 336 
Israel, Manasseh Ben, 166 
Italian literature, influence of Christina on, 324 
Italians, Christina venerated by, 168 

Jagellonica, Catharine, 6 
James II., Christina on, 348-9 
Jankowitz, battle of, 51 

INDEX. 375 

Jesuits, in Sweden, 6 ; sent for by Christina, 227 ; visit of 
Christina to, 248 ; Christina on their acting, 278 ; Christina 
on, 314, 348 

Johanson, Eric, 2 

John III., 6 

John Casimir, 15, 22, 27, 43, 45, 100 ; elected King of 
Poland, 85 ; Eadziejowski and, 189 ; abdicates, 320 

John, King, of Portugal, 100 


KoNiGSMAECK, General, takes Bremen, 51 ; takes the Little 
Prague, 76 


Ladislaus, King, of Poland; designs of, on Sweden, 22; 

extravagant claims of, 34 ; death of, 84 
Larsson, anecdote of, 23 

Le Bel, Father, his account of Monaldeschi's execution, 285 
Leibnitz, on the legality of Monaldeschi's execution, 295 ; on 

the letters of Christina, 355 
Leicester, Earl of, letter to, 305 
Letters of Christina, quoted, 18, 43, 45, 52, 53, 69, 70, 71, 

72, 73, 75, 101, 163, 164, 205, 216, 231, 252, 263, 268, 

298, 300, 319, 326, 327, 329, 330, 331, 337, 341, 342, 344, 

346, 347, 348, 349, 350, 351 
Leyden, University of, 157, 168 
Linde, Anna von, 311 
Liturgy of John III., the, 6 
Loccenius, 159 
Loretto, Christina dedicates a crown and sceptre to Our Lady 

of, 259 
Louis XIIL, remark of, on Gustavus Adolphus, 20 

376 INDEX. 

Louis XIV., Christina and, 275 ; quarrel of, with Alexander 
III., 312 ; Christina on wars of, 319 ; Sweden bribed by, 
333 ; quarrel of, with Innocent XI., 335 ; revokes Edict 
of Nantes, 336 ; and the District Franchise, 343 ; inroad 
into Germany, 347-8 

Ludolphe, Job, 167 

Luther, correspondence of Grustavus Vasa with, 4 ; devotion 
of Swedes to, 148 ; remark on, 180 

Lutheranism introduced into Sweden, 4; finally estab- 
lished, 7 

Lutzen, battle of, 20 ; effect of, ib. 


Macedo, Father, 227 

Magdeburg, mutiny at, 34 

MaKeXcoy, medal of, 328 

Malherbe, on Frencli style of Christina, 156 

Mahnes, Francesco, 228, 230 

Mancini, Mdlle. de, 276 

Mannerschied, Father, his character of Christina, 95 ; remark 
of Christina to, 106 

Manuscripts, fate of Christina's, 168 

Margaret of Denmark, Queen, 2 

Maria Eleanora, marriage of, 9 ; character of, «6., 37 ; ex- 
cluded from Government, 15 ; Order instituted by, 37 ; 
quarrels with Eegents, ih. ; retires to Gripsholm, 39 ; 
cause of complications with Denmark, 48-9 ; Christina 
and, 183, 238 ; death of, 254 

Marriage, views of Christina on, 106, sqq., 360 

Marvell, Andrew, 166 

Matthia3, John, character and influence on Christina, 17, 
222 ; suspected by Swedes, 18 ; raises objections to 
Christina, 114 ; his books, 182 ; persecuted by Swedish 
clergy, 263 ; letter of, to Christina, ih. ; pensioned by 
Christina, 311 

INDEX. 377 

Mazarin, Cardinal, policy of, 61 ; present of Christina to, 

144 ; her opinion of, ib. ; sends actors to Christina, 252 ; 

introduces Louis XIV. to her, 275 ; allusions to, 282, 297 
Medals, struck by Christina, 246, 328 ; by Charles X., 241 ; 

Spanheim assisted by Christina's collection, 325 
Memoirs de Chanut. See Chanut. 
Memoirs of Christina, quoted, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 22, 

27, 28, 38, 41, 44, 108, 115, 150, 220, 356 ; characterised, ib. 
Menzini, liberality of Christina to, 326 
Medicine, condition of, 149 
Meibomius, 176 
Menage, 165 

Mesmes, de, the library, 167 
Messenius conspiracy, the, 210 
Mezerai, 165 
Michon. See Bourdelot. 
Milton, 155, 166, 242 
Molinos, affair of, 335 

Monaldeschi, Marquis de, his execution considered, 282, sqq. 
Monnichof, 150 

Monte, Marquis del, letter to, 347 
Montpensier, Mdlle. de, quoted, 270, sqq. 
Motteville, Mme. de, quoted, 65, 86, 273, sqq., 297 
Munster, visit of Christina to Jesuit College at, 248 
Mysticism, large element of, in Christina, 220, 356 


Nantes, Revocation of Edict of, views of Christina on, 337 
Nandfeus, 159 ; letter to Gassendi on Christina, 169 ; anecdote 

of, 176; testimony of, to Bourdelot, 178 
Neuburg, Duke of, 84 
Nilson, Kils, 213 
Nimeguen, Peace of, 332 
Ninon de I'Enclos, 279 
Nobles, Swedish, massacre of, 2 ; policy of Charles IX. to, 7 ; 

378 INDEX. 

demands of, at Christina's accession, 55 ; the only class 

benefited by the war, 58, 79; hatred of new men, 78; 

power of, in Sweden, 127 ; conduct of, in 1650, 133-, sqq. ; 

annihilated by Charles XI., 333 
Noce, Angelo della, liberahty of Christina to, 325 
Nordlingen, battle of, 34 ; another, 144 
Nuremberg, Recess of Execution at, 76 


Odescalchi, Cardinal. See Innocent XI. 

Oliva, Treaty of, 332 

Olivekranz, letters of Christina to, 341, 347, 348, 349 

Oxenstiern, Axel, 19, 26 ; character of, 28, sqq. ; his liberal 
commercial views, 29 ; his diplomacy after Lutzen, 31, 
sqq. ; his policy, 45 ; at Bromsebro, 51 ; made Count of 
Sodermoere, 54; his policy opposed to that of Christina, 
60, sqq. ; his distrust of France, 61, 29 ; sends Grotius to 
Paris, 63; his advice to his son Eric, 66; his remark to 
his son John, 67 ; unyielding attitude of, 69 ; disgrace of, 
74, 80 ; on the condition of Germany, 81 ; on Chanut 
88 ; on the Danish match, 98 ; on Brandenburgh, ib. ; on 
Charles as successor to Christina, 115 ; Christina on, 126 ; 
careless domestic policy, 130 ; remark of, 134 ; on 
Finland, 149 ; on De la Gardie, 208 ; death of, 254 

Oxenstiern, Eric, 33, 66 

Oxenstiern, Gabriel, 27 

Oxenstiern, Gustav John, sent to Congress of Westphalia, 
66, sqq. ; remark of the Chancellor to him, 67 ; disgrace 
of, 74, 75 

Oxenstiern, Mistress Beata, Christina on, 43 


Pallavicini, 325 
Pascal, 166 

INDEX. 379 

Patin, Guy, 185, 297 -^ 

Patni, 273 

Peasants, condition of, 128 

Pereira, Don Joseph, 227 

Phaleg, Bocliart's, 177 

PhiHp IV. of Spain, 100 

Philipsburg, 348 

Philosophy, regulations as to, 170 ; condition of, in Sweden, 

Picques, French resident, 179, 182 
Pimentelli, Don Antonio, 95, 179 ; character of, 187 ; 

charges against, 190, 194 ; privy to designs of Christina, 

230 ; later conduct of, 267 
Pius II., Pope, his reply to an ambassador, 83 
Poland, connection of, with Sweden, 6 ; designs of, 22 ; claims 

of, 34 ; truce with, 34 ; answer of Christina to, 197 ; 

Charles X. in, epigram on, 262 ; attempt of Christina on 

the crown of, 320 ; Wisnowiski elected King of, 321 
Prague, Peace of, 34 

Prague, Little, taken by Konigsmarck, 76 
Printing press, established by Christina, 170 
Prussia, lost by Sweden, 34 
Puritan spirit to blame for charges against Christina, 180-1 


Quietism, Christina accused of, 336 


Eadziejowski, 189, 197 

Ragoczy, 84 

Rami Septentrionis Olivse, 263, note 

Eavius, 148 

Red Book, the, 6 

380 INDEX. 

Reformation in Sweden, 4 

Regale, quarrel about, 335 

Regents, the, 27, 37 

Retz, Cardinal de, on Alexander VII., 255, 301 ; remark of 

Conde to, 329 
Richelieu, Cardinal, 28, 35, 61; Grotius and, 62-3; on 

Chanut, 87 ; allusion to, 324 
Rome in seventeenth century, 258 
Rosenhane, Schering, 237, 239 
Rospigliosi, Cardinal, election to Papacy, 316 
Rudbeck, Glaus,. 167 


Salmasius, 156, sqq., 161 

Salvius, Adler, 45, 63; sent by Christina to Congress of 

Westphalia, 67 ; at variance with G. J. Oxenstiern, ih. ; 

letters of Christina to, 69 sqq. ; ennobled by Christina, 78 ; 

death of, ib. 
Sarrau, 167 
Saxony, John George, Elector of, 31 ; concludes Peace of 

Prague, 34 ; gains of, at the Peace of Westphalia, see 

Scarron, 165 
Schoefifer, 159 
Schlippenbach, 202 

Scholasticism in Sweden, 151 " 

Scudery, 165 ; Mile, de, ih. ; letter of Christina to, 346 
Seguier, Chancellor, on Chanut, 88 
Sentinelli, 267, 285, 301 
Servien, 67 ; letter of Christina to, 71 
Sigismund III., loses Sweden, 7 ; his partisans in Sweden, 

22. See Appendix. 
Sigismund, John, 9 
Skytte, Benedict, 213 ; John, 147 
Sobieski, John, 342 

INDEX. 381 

Sound dues, 49 

Spain, 190, 195 

Spanheim, 325 

Spanish jealousies and intrigues against Christina, 264, 297 

Sparre, Ebba, letters of Christina to, 252, 268 

Spectacles for Princes, 136 

Steinberg, 201, 210 

Stiemhielm, 149, 166, 170 

Stockholm, massacre of, 2 

Stumsdorff, 34, 84 

Sture, Steno, 3 

Swearing in Sweden, 151 ; Christina on, see Preface. 

Sweden, character of the history of, 1 ; its monarchs, ih. ; 
Keformation in, 4, 7 ; crisis in, after Lutzen, 21 ; gains of, 
at Bromsebro, 53 ; troubles in, 55, 58 ; demands of, at 
Peace of Westphalia, 68 ; gains of, 76 ; zenith of its fame, 
77 ; social condition of, 126, sqq. ; financial abuses in, 130 ; 
low level of culture in, 145 ; hollowness of its position, 
146 ; state of, after death of Charles X., 303 ; during 
minority of Charles XI., 332 ; Triple Alliance with, ib. ; 
bribed by Louis XIY., 333 ; settlement of, 334 

Swedes, Bourdelot hated by, 180; their behaviour to 
Christina, 314, 318 

Sydney, Algernon, letter of, 305 


Terlon, Chevalier de, letter of Christina to, 337 

Terranuova, Due de, 268 

Terserus, 135, 170, 213, 310 

Texeira, 247, 311 

Thirty Years' War, results of, 80, 81 

Torsteuson, Leonard, 47; wins victory of Leipsic, 48; in 

Denmark, 50 ; wins victory at Jankowitz, 51 ; campaign 

of, 58 ; his policy, 60 
Torture abohshed, 132 

382 INDEX. 

Tott, Count, 234 

TroUe, Gustavus, 4 

Turenne, 62, 76 

Turks, Christina on, 312 ; and Jolin Sobieski, 342 


Ulfeld, Corfiz, 188, 197 

Ulric, Prince, 97 

Ulrica Eleanora, Queen, 55 

Union, Act of, 2 

Upsala, University of, 147 ; Wkitelocke on, 148 

Urban VIII., Pope, 175 


Vasa family, character of, 1 ; arms of, 2, note. 

Yanciennes, Linage de, 329 

Vienna, relief of, 342 

Vossius, Isaac, 44, 157, 158, sqq.; 168, 180 


Wasanau, Count, 340 

Wasmuth, 340 

Weimar, Duke Bernard of, 33, 35, 43, 46 

Westeras, Eecess of, 4 

Westphalia, Peace of, 57, 58, 68, 76, 82. See Appendix. 

Whistler, Daniel, on abdication of Christina, 226 

Whitelocke, Sir Bulstrode, on Oxenstiern, 28 ; character and 
mission of, 191 ; departure of, 195 ; on festivals at Court, 
187 ; his Puritan bias to be noted, 181, 187 ; quoted, 107, 
126, 143, 148, 150, 151, 152, 188 ; his Journal of his 
Embassy, see Preface ; see also Appendix. 

INDEX. 383 

William III., Christina on, 347, 348, 349 ; letter of Christina 

to, lb. 
Wisnowiski, Duke, elected King of Poland, 321 
Wit, instances of Christina's, 165, 166, 184, 194, 210, 253, 

260, 261, 272, 277, 278, 302, 309, 313, 316, 328, 329, 

Witchcraft, 149 
Wittstock, victory of, 36 
Wrangel, General ; his advice to his son, 47 ; his war policy, 

60 ; alluded to, 76, 332